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James Whitcomb Riley poems book published in the 1894 book Armazindy and received very negative reviews that referred to poems like "The Little Dog-Woggy" and "Jargon-Jingle" as "drivel" and to Riley as a "worn out genius". Most of his growing number of critics suggested that he ignored the quality of the poems for the sake of making money.

Genre: Poetry

And lace collar;—yes, and fine Stylish hat, with ivy-vine And red ribbons, and these-’ere Artificial flowers and queer Little beads and spangles, and Oysturch-feathers round the band! Wore ’em, Sund’ys, fer a while— Kindo’ went to Church in style, Sol and Armazindy!—Tel It was noised round purty well They wuz promised.—And they wuz— Sich news travels—well it does!— Pity ’at that did!—Fer jes That-air fac’ and nothin’ less Must ’a’ putt it in the mind O’ Jule Reddinhouse to find Out some dratted way to hatch Out some plan to break the match— ’Cause she done it!—How? they’s none Knows adzac’ly what she done; Some claims she writ letters to Sol’s folks, up nigh Pleasant View Somers—and described, you see, “Armazindy’s fambily”— Hintin’ “ef Sol married her, He’d jes be pervidin’ fer Them-air twins o’ hern, and old Palsied aunt ’at couldn’t hold Spoon to mouth, and layin’ near Bedrid’ on to eighteen year’, And still likely, ’pearantly, To live out the century!” Well—whatever plan Jule laid Out to reach the p’int she made, It wuz desper’t.—And she won, Finully, by marryun Sol herse’f—e-lopin’, too, With him, like she had to do,— ’Cause her folks ’ud allus swore “Jule should never marry pore!” This-here part the story I Allus haf to hurry by,— Way ’at Armazindy jes Drapped back in her linsey dress, And grabbed holt her loom, and shet Her jaws square.—And ef she fret Any ’bout it—never ’peared Sign ’at neighbers seed er heerd;— Most folks liked her all the more— I know I did—certain-shore!— (’Course I’d knowed her Pap, and what Stock she come of.—Yes, and thought, And think yit, no man on earth ’S worth as much as that girl’s worth!) As fer Jule and Sol, they had Their sheer!—less o’ good than bad!— Her folks let her go.—They said, “Spite o’ them she’d made her bed And must sleep in it!”—But she, ’Peared-like, didn’t sleep so free As she ust to—ner so late, Ner so fine, I’m here to state!— Sol wuz pore, of course, and she Wuzn’t ust to poverty— Ner she didn’t ’pear to jes ’Filiate with lonesomeness,— ’Cause Sol he wuz off and out With his th’asher nigh about Half the time; er, season done, He’d be off mi-anderun Round the country, here and there, Swoppin’ hosses. Well, that-air Kind o’ livin’ didn’t suit Jule a bit!—and then, to boot, She had now the keer o’ two Her own childern—and to do Her own work and cookin’—yes, And sometimes fer hands, I guess, Well as fambily of her own.— Cut her pride clean to the bone! So how could the whole thing end?— She set down, one night, and penned A short note, like—’at she sewed On the childern’s blanket—blowed Out the candle—pulled the door To close after her—and, shore- Footed as a cat is, clumb In a rigg there and left home, With a man a-drivin’ who “Loved her ever fond and true,”
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James Whitcomb Riley

James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916) was an American poet, born in Greenfield, Indiana. At the age of 16 he left school and joined a group of itinerant sign painters. Subsequently he acted in a patent-medicine show and worked for a newspaper. From 1877 to 1885 he was a regular contributor of verse to the Indianapolis Journal under the pen name of Benj. F. Johnson, of Boone. Some of the poems were collected in The Old Swimmin' Hole and 'Leven More Poems (1883), a volume that achieved great popularity. His best-known poems include Little Orphant Annie, The Raggedy Man, and When the Frost Is on the Punkin. Riley's popularity derived mainly from his quaint use of Hoosier dialect, his cheerful and whimsical sense of humor, and his intimate understanding of life in the rural Midwest. His other works include Rhymes of Childhood (1890) and Poems Here at Home (1893). more…

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