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Arthur Guiterman

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Arthur Guiterman
Arthur Guiterman

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

Life and career

Guiterman was born of American parents in Vienna. He was graduated from the City College of New York in 1891, and later 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 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]

Poetry

Collections
  • Guiterman, Arthur (1907). Betel nuts : what they say in Hindustan. San Francisco: P. Elder.
  • — (1915). The laughing muse. New York: Harper and Brothers.
  • — (1918). The mirthful lyre. New York: Harper and Brothers.
  • — (1923). The light guitar. New York: Harper and Brothers.
  • — (1927). Wildwood fables. New York: E.P. Dutton.
  • — (1929). Song and laughter. New York: E.P. Dutton.
  • — (1935). Death and General Putnam and 101 other poems. New York: E.P. Dutton.
  • — (1936). Gaily the troubadour. New York: E.P. Dutton.
  • — (1939). Lyric laughter. New York: E.P. Dutton.
  • — (1943). Brave laughter. New York: E.P. Dutton.
List of poems
Title Year First published Reprinted/collected
Indifference 1925 Guiterman, Arthur (May 9, 1925). "Indifference". The New Yorker. 1 (12): 27.
I've never found that being clever 1925 Guiterman, Arthur (April 25, 1925). "I've never found that being clever". The New Yorker. 1 (10): 18.
Lyrics from the Pekinese (I-III) 1925 Guiterman, Arthur (February 21, 1925). "Lyrics from the Pekinese (I-III)". The New Yorker. 1 (1): 21.
Lyrics from the Pekinese (IV-VI) 1925 Guiterman, Arthur (February 28, 1925). "Lyrics from the Pekinese (IV-VI)". The New Yorker. 1 (2): 18.
Lyrics from the Pekinese (VII-IX) 1925 Guiterman, Arthur (March 7, 1925). "Lyrics from the Pekinese (VII-IX)". The New Yorker. 1 (3): 21.
Lyrics from the Pekinese (X-XII) 1925 Guiterman, Arthur (March 14, 1925). "Lyrics from the Pekinese (X-XII)". The New Yorker. 1 (4): 20.
Lyrics from the Pekinese (XIII-XV) 1925 Guiterman, Arthur (March 21, 1925). "Lyrics from the Pekinese (XIII-XV)". The New Yorker. 1 (5): 17.
Lyrics from the Pekinese (XVI-XVIII) 1925 Guiterman, Arthur (March 28, 1925). "Lyrics from the Pekinese (XVI-XVIII)". The New Yorker. 1 (6): 18.
Lyrics from the Pekinese (XIX-XXI) 1925 Guiterman, Arthur (April 4, 1925). "Lyrics from the Pekinese (XIX-XXI)". The New Yorker. 1 (7): 18.
Lyrics from the Pekinese (XXII-XXIV) 1925 Guiterman, Arthur (April 11, 1925). "Lyrics from the Pekinese (XXII-XXIV)". The New Yorker. 1 (8): 12.
Lyrics from the Pekinese (XXV-XXVII) 1925 Guiterman, Arthur (April 25, 1925). "Lyrics from the Pekinese (XXV-XXVII)". The New Yorker. 1 (10): 14.
Lyrics from the Pekinese (XXVIII-XXX) 1925 Guiterman, Arthur (May 2, 1925). "Lyrics from the Pekinese (XXVII-XXX) [sic]". The New Yorker. 1 (11): 14.
Lyrics from the Pekinese (XXXI-XXXIII) 1925 Guiterman, Arthur (June 13, 1925). "Lyrics from the Pekinese (XXXI-XXXIII)". The New Yorker. 1 (17): 10.
Religion 1925 Guiterman, Arthur (June 13, 1925). "Religion". The New Yorker. 1 (17): 14.
Rendevous 1925 Guiterman, Arthur (March 28, 1925). "Rendevous". The New Yorker. 1 (6): 8.
Translations
  • Bonsels, Waldemar (1929). The adventures of Maya the bee. Illustrated by Vera Bock; translated by Adele Szold Seltzer and Arthur Guiterman. New York: Boni.

References

  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. ^ "Guiterman, Arthur (1871 – 1943)". University of Toronto library. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-28. Retrieved 2009-03-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness
  4. ^ Music: Man Without a Country, Time, May 24, 1937
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