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Infidels, Freethinkers, Humanists, and Unbelievers
Marquis, Don (1878 - 1937)
"I once heard the survivors of a colony of ants that had been partially obliterated by a cow's foot seriously debating the intention of the gods towards their civilization."

-- Don Marquis


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.

Donald 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 three months.

He 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.

He 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.

Quotations

"An idea isn't responsible for the people who believe in it."

"Old godheads sink in space and drown
Their arks like foundered galleons sucked down."

"that stern and rockbound coast felt like an amateur when it saw how grim the puritans that landed on it were"

"I 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"

"just as soon as the uplifters get a country reformed it slips into a nose dive"

"warty bliggens, the toad
i met a toad
the other day by the name
of warty bliggens
he was sitting under
a toadstool
feeling contented
he explained that when the cosmos
was created
that toadstool was especially
planned for his personal
shelter from sun and rain
thought out and prepared
for him

do not tell me
said warty bliggens
that there is not a purpose
in the universe
the thought is blasphemy

a little more
conversation revealed
that warty bliggens
considers himself to be
the center of the said
universe
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
warty bliggens

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

ask rather
said warty bliggens
what the universe
has done to deserve me

Give 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."

 
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