Katie Fitzgerald's Reviews > Archy and Mehitabel

Archy and Mehitabel by Don Marquis
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bookshelves: 2019, challenge-library-love, genre-poetry, level-adult

This book by newspaper reporter Don Marquis collects poems written in the voice of a cockroach named Archy for the Evening Sun in New York beginning in 1916. Archy is said to be a former free verse poet whose soul has "transmigrated" into the body of a cockroach. Because Archy is an insect, he cannot make use of the shift key on the typewriter he uses to compose his poems, so they are all written without capitalization. Archy writes on many topics, and the poems often poke fun at human nature using animal- and insect-related metaphors. Archy's most frequently covered topic is the life and times of Mehitabel, the alley cat, who has a variety of entanglements with charming tom cats who try to use and manipulate her, but who always insists on maintaining an optimistic outlook no matter what.

I first read this book when I was in high school. I had found some quotations by Don Marquis in a book my dad had in his office, and looked him up at the public library. Though much of the philosophical references in the book went over my head back then, I found the premise amusing, and some of the one-liners Archy delivers became my favorite quotations. On this reading, I appreciated more of the political and social commentary that Archy makes, though I'm not sure I agreed with him on very much. I will say, though, that for being over 100 years old, these poems hold up quite well, and many of the themes are still relevant to our culture today.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
April 23, 2019 – Shelved
April 23, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019
April 23, 2019 – Shelved as: challenge-library-love
April 23, 2019 – Shelved as: genre-poetry
April 23, 2019 – Shelved as: level-adult
April 23, 2019 – Finished Reading

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