James Whitcomb Riley


Born
in Greenfield, Indiana, The United States
October 07, 1849

Died
July 22, 1922

Website

Genre


James Whitcomb Riley was born on October 7, 1849, in Greenfield, Indiana, to local attorney Reuben A. Riley and his wife, Elizabeth (Marine) Riley, in a small cabin. His parents named him after James Whitcomb, the governor of Indiana. Riley was influenced by many of the visitors to his father's home. In particular, he was able to pick up the cadence and character of the dialect of central Indiana and the travelers along the old National Road, which came through in the many poems he went on to write.

One particular visitor was Mary Alice Smith, who eventually stayed on to live with the Rileys. Mary Alice ("Allie") Smith influenced Riley's poem, Little Orphant Annie, which was originally to be called Little Orphant Allie but a typesetter's er
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Average rating: 4.17 · 2,016 ratings · 256 reviews · 218 distinct worksSimilar authors
Complete Poetical Works of ...

4.24 avg rating — 68 ratings — published 1963 — 7 editions
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The Best of James Whitcomb ...

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4.20 avg rating — 44 ratings — published 1982 — 2 editions
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The Best Loved Poems of Jam...

4.29 avg rating — 35 ratings — published 1920 — 15 editions
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Little Orphant Annie and Ot...

3.97 avg rating — 35 ratings — published 1908 — 2 editions
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An Old Sweetheart of Mine

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4.26 avg rating — 38 ratings — published 1888 — 43 editions
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Riley Child-Rhymes with Hoo...

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4.51 avg rating — 47 ratings — published 1890 — 52 editions
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Riley Love-Lyrics

4.53 avg rating — 32 ratings — published 1899 — 45 editions
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The Gobble-Uns 'll Git You ...

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4.09 avg rating — 23 ratings
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Complete Works of James Whi...

4.28 avg rating — 25 ratings27 editions
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Riley Farm-Rhymes

3.88 avg rating — 24 ratings — published 1905 — 26 editions
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More books by James Whitcomb Riley…
“He Is Not Dead

I cannot say, and I will not say
That he is dead. He is just away.
With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there.
And you—oh you, who the wildest yearn
For an old-time step, and the glad return,
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of There as the love of Here.
Think of him still as the same. I say,
He is not dead—he is just away.”
James Whitcomb Riley

“I bless the hoss from hoof to head -
From head to hoof, and tale to mane! -
I bless the hoss, as I have said,
From head to hoof, and back again!

James Whitcomb Riley

“When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.”
James Whitcomb Riley

Polls

163126
Who is your favorite poet?

 
  34 votes, 9.7%

 
  28 votes, 8.0%

T. S. Eliot (write-in)
 
  20 votes, 5.7%

 
  18 votes, 5.2%

 
  18 votes, 5.2%

 
  17 votes, 4.9%

Sylvia Plath
 
  13 votes, 3.7%

William Blake (write-in)
 
  12 votes, 3.4%

 
  12 votes, 3.4%

Robert frost (write-in)
 
  10 votes, 2.9%

 
  10 votes, 2.9%

 
  9 votes, 2.6%

Walt Whitman (write-in)
 
  9 votes, 2.6%

Jon Keats (write-in)
 
  8 votes, 2.3%

 
  7 votes, 2.0%

Bob Dylan
 
  7 votes, 2.0%

 
  6 votes, 1.7%

Seamus Heaney (write-in)
 
  6 votes, 1.7%

Edgar Allan Poe, Shelley, Shakespeare and Jim Morrison, also Alfred Noyes
 
  6 votes, 1.7%

 
  5 votes, 1.4%

Franz Kafka (write-in)
 
  5 votes, 1.4%

W. H. Auden (write-in)
 
  5 votes, 1.4%

Not sure yet (write-in)
 
  5 votes, 1.4%

Charles Baudelaire (write-in)
 
  4 votes, 1.1%

Jim Morrison (write-in)
 
  4 votes, 1.1%

I'm not a fan of poetry (write-in)
 
  4 votes, 1.1%

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (write-in)
 
  4 votes, 1.1%

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (write-in)
 
  3 votes, 0.9%

Tomas Tranströmer or Kahlil Gibran (write-in)
 
  3 votes, 0.9%

Lord Byron (write-in)
 
  3 votes, 0.9%

 
  3 votes, 0.9%

George Sterling (write-in)
 
  3 votes, 0.9%

Anne Sexton
 
  2 votes, 0.6%

A. S. Pushkin (write-in)
 
  2 votes, 0.6%

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (write-in)
 
  2 votes, 0.6%

Sara Teasdale (write-in)
 
  2 votes, 0.6%

Edward Lear (write-in)
 
  2 votes, 0.6%

Wilfred Owen (write-in)
 
  2 votes, 0.6%

Georg Trakl (write-in)
 
  2 votes, 0.6%

Paul Celan (write-in)
 
  2 votes, 0.6%

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (write-in)
 
  2 votes, 0.6%

Ivan Vazov (write-in)
 
  2 votes, 0.6%

Lang Leav (write-in)
 
  2 votes, 0.6%

 
  2 votes, 0.6%

Andrew Hozier-Byrne (write-in)
 
  2 votes, 0.6%

John Keats and Giacomo Leopardi (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

Robert Service (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

Theodor Geisel (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

Arthur Rimbaud (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

Hugo Claus (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

San Juan de la Cruz (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

Big L (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

Matsuo Basho (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

juana de ibarbourou (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

Sonya Sones (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

Frank O'Hara (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

Rachel Rooney (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

Mary Oliver (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

 
  1 vote, 0.3%

Victor Hugo (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

 
  1 vote, 0.3%

Idea Vilariño (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

 
  1 vote, 0.3%

Herman Hesse (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

Dante Alighieri (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

Marin Sorescu (write-in)
 
  1 vote, 0.3%

W.B. Yeats (write-in)
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

Alfred Noyes
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

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