Don Marquis was a writer, poet, and artist; best known for creating
the characters "Archy" and "Mehitabel". Archy
was a cockroach who left poems on Marquis's typewriter by jumping
on the keys, and Mehitabel was both a cat and a friend of Archy.
Robert Perry Marquis was born July 29, 1878, in Walnut, Illinois.
His brother, David Marquis, died in 1892 at the age of 20, followed
by his father's death in 1897. After graduating Walnut high school
in 1894, he attended Knox College Academy in 1896, but left after
married Reina Melcher on June 8, 1909, with whom he had two children:
a son, Robert Marquis (November 7, 1915 - 1921); and a daughter,
Barbara Marquis (October, 1918 - October, 1931). Don and Reina
were wed until she died on December 2, 1923. Three years later
he married Marjorie Potts Vonnegut on February 2. 1926, and remained
married to her until her death on October 25, 1936. He suffered
three disabling strokes during his life, and died of a fourth
stroke on December 29, 1937.
cowrote (or contributed posthumously) to the films The Sports
Pages, Shinbone Alley, The Good Old Soak, and Skippy.(The 1926
film "The Cruise of the Jasper B" was supposedly based
on his 1916 novel, although the plots have little in common.)
He also wrote a play called The Old Soak, drew cartoons for The
New Yorker, and was a freelance columnist, humorist, and poet.
idea isn't responsible for the people who believe in it."
godheads sink in space and drown
Their arks like foundered galleons sucked down."
stern and rockbound coast felt like an amateur when it saw how
grim the puritans that landed on it were"
do not see why men should be so proud insects have the more ancient
lineage according to the scientists insects were insects when
man was only a burbling whatisit"
as soon as the uplifters get a country reformed it slips into
a nose dive"
bliggens, the toad
i met a toad
the other day by the name
of warty bliggens
he was sitting under
he explained that when the cosmos
that toadstool was especially
planned for his personal
shelter from sun and rain
thought out and prepared
do not tell me
said warty bliggens
that there is not a purpose
in the universe
the thought is blasphemy
a little more
that warty bliggens
considers himself to be
the center of the said
the earth exists
to grow toadstools for him
to sit under
the sun to give him light
by day and the moon
and wheeling constellations
to make beautiful
the night for the sake of
to what act of yours
do you impute
this interest on the part
of the creator
of the universe
i asked him
why is it that you
are so greatly favored
said warty bliggens
what the universe
has done to deserve me
up the dream that Love may trick the fates
To live again somewhere beyond the gleam
Of dying stars, or shatter the strong gates
Some god has builded high; give up the dream."