in praise of archy

ninety years ago on march two nine
a new york evening sun newspaperman
don marquis
came to work early one morning
to discover a large cockroach
diving headlong onto the keys
of his typewriter

marquis printed in his march two nine one nine one six column what
archy the cockroach had painfully
typed all night

it began

expression is the need of my soul
i was once a vers libre bard
but i died and my soul went into the
body of a cockroach
it has given me a new outlook upon
life
i see things from the underside now

since archy could only operate one key
at a time his nightly
compositions lacked both
capitals and punctuation
as time went on archy wrote less free verse
and more prose
but his observations remained at once
witty satirical and at times poignant

he spent part of his time
debunking the spiritualism fad
then in vogue popularized in part
by the author sir arthur conan doyle

he criticized prohibition and the follies of politicians
like this criticism of
hitlers ambitions in europe
archy had wise observations about life
in general like
procrastination is the
art of keeping
up with yesterday

archy had a friend mehitabel the alley cat
who also had many past lives
together archy and mehitabel and their assorted
non-human friends opened a window
into human society and folly in nearly 500 entries
as archy followed marquis from the sun to colliers magazine
and elsewhere

archy would have loved to blog
happy belated birthday archy

The \The Archy and Mehitabel Omnibus

Archy and MehitabelArchy and Mehitabel

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