Arthur Guiterman

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Arthur Guiterman

Arthur Guiterman (/ˈɡɪtərmən/; November 20, 1871 - January 11, 1943) was an American writer best known for his humorous poems.

Life and career[edit]

Guiterman was born of American parents in Vienna, graduated from the College of the City of New York in 1891, and was married in 1909 to Vida Lindo.[1] He was an editor of the Woman's Home Companion and the Literary Digest. In 1910, he cofounded the Poetry Society of America, and later served as its president in 1925-26.[2]

An example of his humour is a poem that talks about modern progress, with rhyming couplets such as "First dentistry was painless;/Then bicycles were chainless". It ends on a more telling note:

Another Guiterman poem, "On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness", illustrates the philosophy also incorporated into his humorous rhymes:[3]

Perhaps his most-quoted poem is his clever 1936 "DARling" satire about the Daughters of the American Revolution (and three other clubs open only to descendants of pre-Independence British Americans). That poem has a unique, intricate, strongly dramatic rhythmical structure...as analyzed, line by line and syllable by syllable, below. The number of syllables in each line is shown in [brackets]. Strong accents are indicated by !. No accent, or a weak accent, is indicated by ^.

The D.A.R.lings [5] ^ ! ! ! ^

chatter like starlings [5] !!^ !^

telling their [3] ^^^

ancestors' [3] ^^^

names, [1] !

while grimly aloof, [5] ^ ! ^ ^ !

with looks of reproof, [5] ^ ! ^ ^ !

sit the Co- [3] ^^^

lonial [3] ^^^

Dames. [1] !

The Cincinnati, [5] ^! ^ !!

merry and chatty, [5] !^^ !^

dangle their [3] !^^

badges and [3] !^^

pendants; [2] ! ^

but haughty and proud, [5] ^ !^^ !

disdaining the crowd, [5] ^ !^^ !

brood the [2] ^^

Mayflower [3] ! ! !

descendants. [3] ^ ! ^

He also notably wrote the libretto for Walter Damrosch's The Man Without a Country which premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on May 12, 1937.[4]

Bibliography[edit]

Incomplete - to be updated

Books[edit]

Beginning in 1907 and continuing for the rest of his life, he was the author of over a dozen collections of poems, including:

  • Betel Nuts, What They Say In Hindustan (1907)
  • The Laughing Muse (1915)
  • The Light Guitar (1923)
  • Wildwood Fables (1927)
  • Song and Laughter (1929)
  • Death and General Putnam and 101 other poems (1935)
  • Gaily the Troubadour (1936)
  • Lyric Laughter (1939)
  • Brave Laughter (1943)

Poems[edit]

  • "Lyrics from the Pekinese (I-III)". The New Yorker 1 (1): 21. 21 February 1925. 
  • "Lyrics from the Pekinese (IV-VI)". The New Yorker 1 (2): 18. 28 February 1925. 
  • "Lyrics from the Pekinese (VII-IX)". The New Yorker 1 (3): 21. 7 March 1925. 
  • "Lyrics from the Pekinese (X-XII)". The New Yorker 1 (4): 20. 14 March 1925. 
  • "Lyrics from the Pekinese (XIII-XV)". The New Yorker 1 (5): 17. 21 March 1925. 
  • "Lyrics from the Pekinese (XVI-XVIII)". The New Yorker 1 (6): 18. 28 March 1925. 
  • "Rendevous". The New Yorker 1 (6): 8. 28 March 1925. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rittenhouse, Jessie. "Biographical Notes. Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. (1869–1948). The Second Book of Modern Verse. 1922.". Archived from the original on 20 April 2005. Retrieved 2005-05-27. 
  2. ^ "RPO-Selected poetry of Arthur Guiterman (1871-1973)". University of Toronto library. Retrieved 2006-05-27. 
  3. ^ http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/24.html On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness
  4. ^ Music: Man Without a Country, Time, May 24, 1937

External links[edit]