Generations of readers have delighted in the work of the great American humorist Don Marquis, who was frequently compared to Mark Twain. These free-verse poems, which first appeared in Marquis's New York newspaper columns, revolve around the escapades of Archy, the philosophical cockroach who was once a poet, and Mehitabel, a streetwise alley cat who was once Cleopatra. Reincarnated as the lowest creatures on the social scale, they prowl the rowdy streets of New York City in between the world wars. The antics of these two immortal characters are now made available for the first time in their original order of publication in this unique, comprehensive collection, which features many poems never before reprinted.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Generations of readers have delighted in the work of the great American humorist Don Marquis. Marquis's satirical free-verse poems, which first appeared in his New York newspaper columns in 1916, revolve around the escapades of Archy, a philosophical cockroach who was a poet in a previous life, and Mehitabel, a streetwise alley cat who was once Cleopatra. Reincarnated as the lowest creatures on the social scale, they prowl the rowdy streets of New York City in between the world wars, and Archy records their experiences and observations on the boss's typewriter late at night. First published in 1927, Archy and Mehitabel has become a celebrated part of the twentieth-century American literary canon.
Don Marquis’s famous fictional insect appeared in his newspaper columns from 1916 into the 1930s, and he has delighted generations of readers ever since. A poet in a former life, Archy was reincarnated as a bug who expresses himself by diving headfirst onto a typewriter. His sidekick Mehitabel is a streetwise feline who claims to have been Cleopatra in a previous life. As E. B. White wrote in his now-classic introduction, the Archy poems “contain cosmic reverberations along with high comedy” and have “the jewel-like perfection of poetry.”
Adorned with George Herriman’s whimsical illustrations and including White’s introduction, our Pocket Poets selection—the only hardcover Archy and Mehitabel in print—is a beautiful volume, and perfectly sized for its tiny hero.