Don Marquis

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You couldn't get a clue during the clue mating season in a field full of horny clues if you smeared your body with clue musk and did the clue mating dance.
Edward Flaherty
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Donald Robert Perry Marquis (29 July 1878 - 29 December 1937) was an American humorist, journalist, and author. He was variously a novelist, poet, cartoonist, newspaper columnist, and playwright. He was best known for creating the characters "Archy" the cockroach, and "Mehitabel" the cat.


  • i have noticed that when chickens quit quarreling over their food they often find that there is enough for all of them i wonder if it might not be the same with the human race
    • archy's life of mehitabel, random thoughts by archy (1933)

archy and mehitabel (1927)

  • dedicated to babs
    with babs knows what
    and babs knows why
  • the octopus's secret wish
    is not to be a formal fish
    he dreams that some time he may grow
    another set of legs or so
    and be a broadway music show
  • oh i should worry and fret
    death and i will coquette
    there s a dance in the old dame yet
    toujours gai toujours gai
    • the song of mehitabel
  • procrastination is the
    art of keeping<up with yesterday
    • certain maxims of archy
  • an optimist is a guy
    that has never had
    much experience
    • certain maxims of archy
  • what in hell
    have i done to deserve
    all these kittens
    • mehitabel and her kittens
  • dance mehitabel dance
    caper and shake a leg
    what little blood is left
    will fizz like wine in a keg
    • mehitabel dances with boreas

what the ants are saying

  • no insect likes human beings
    and if you think you can see why
    the only reason i tolerate you is because
    you seem less human to me than most of them
  • it wont be long now it wont be long
    man is making deserts of the earth
    it wont be long now
    before man will have used it up
    so that nothing but ants
    and centipedes and scorpions
    can find a living on it
    man has oppressed us for a million years
    but he goes on steadily
    cutting the ground from under
    his own feet making deserts deserts deserts
  • what man calls civilization
    always results in deserts
  • men talk of money and industry
    of hard times and recoveries
    of finance and economics
    but the ants wait and the scorpions wait
    for while men talk they are making deserts all the time
    getting the world ready for the conquering ant
    drought and erosion and desert
    because men cannot learn
  • each generation wastes a little more
    of the future with greed and lust for riches
  • it wont be long now It won't be long
    till earth is barren as the moon
    and sapless as a mumbled bone
  • dear boss i relay this information
    without any fear that humanity
    will take warning and reform

archy does his part (1935)

  • it is a cheering thought to think
    that god is on the side of the best digestion
    • the big bad wolf
  • there is bound to be a certain amount of
    trouble running any country
    if you are president the trouble happens to you
    but if you are a tyrant you can arrange things so
    that most of the trouble happens to other people
    • archy's newest deal
  • there is always
    a comforting thought
    in time of trouble when
    it is not our trouble
    • comforting thoughts

warty bliggens, the toad

i met a toad the other day by the name of warty bliggens...
  • i met a toad
    the other day by the name
    of warty bliggens

    he was sitting under
    a toadstool
    feeling contented
    he explained that when the cosmos
    was created
    that toadstool was especially
    planned for his personal
    shelter from sun and rain
    thought out and prepared
    for him
warty bliggens considers himself to be the center of the said universe...
  • a little more
    conversation revealed
    that warty bliggens
    considers himself to be
    the center of the said

    the earth exists
    to grow toadstools for him
    to sit under
    the sun to give him light
    by day and the moon
    and wheeling constellations
    to make beautiful
    the night for the sake of
    warty bliggens
  • i asked him
    why is it that you
    are so greatly favored
    ask rather
    said warty bliggens
    what the universe
    has done to deserve me

the robin and the worm

  • a robin said to an
    angleworm as he ate him
    i am sorry but a bird
    has to live somehow the
    worm being slow witted could
    not gather his
    dissent into a wise crack
    and retort he was
    effectually swallowed
    before he could turn
    a phrase
  • demons and fishhooks
    he exclaimed
    i am losing my personal
    identity as a worm
    my individuality
    is melting away from me
    odds craw i am becoming
    part and parcel of
    this bloody robin
    so help me i am thinking
    like a robin and not
    like a worm any
    longer yes yes i even
    find myself agreeing
    that a robin must live
    i still do not
    understand with my mentality
    why a robin must live
    and yet i swoon into a
    condition of belief
  • amen said a beetle who had
    preceded him into the
    interior that is the way i
    feel myself is it not
    wonderful when one arrives
    at the place
    where he can give up his
    ambitions and resignedly
    nay even with gladness
    recognize that it is a far
    far better thing to be
    merged harmoniously
    in the cosmic all
    and this confortable situation
    in his midst
    so affected the marauding
    robin that he perched
    upon a blooming twig
    and sang until the
    blossoms shook with ecstacy
    he sang
    i have a good digestion
    and there is a god after all
    which i was wicked
    enough to doubt
    yesterday when it rained
  • breakfast breakfast
    i am full of breakfast
    and they are at breakfast
    in heaven
    they breakfast in heaven
    all s well with the world
  • how beautiful is the universe
    when something digestible meets
    with an eager digestion
    how sweet the embrace
    when atom rushes to the arms
    of waiting atom
  • well well boss there is
    something to be said
    for the lyric and imperial
    believe that everything is for
    you until you discover
    that you are for it

    sing your faith in what you
    get to eat right up to the
    minute you are eaten
    for you are going
    to be eaten
  • there are more things
    twixt the vermiform appendix
    and nirvana than are dreamt of
    in thy philosophy horatio


  • A demagogue is a person with whom we disagree as to which gang should mismanage the country.
  • A hypocrite is a person who — but who isn't?
  • a man thinks he amounts to a great deal but to a flea or a mosquito a human being is merely something good to eat
  • A pessimist is a person who has had to listen to too many optimists.
  • A sequel is an admission that you've been reduced to imitating yourself.
  • An idea is not responsible for the people who believe in it.
  • Blood will tell, but often it tells too much.
  • Bores bore each other too; but it never seems to teach them anything.
  • Did you ever notice that when a politician does get an idea he usually gets it all wrong.
  • Every cloud has its silver lining but it is sometimes a little difficult to get it to the mint.
  • Fate often puts all the material for happiness and prosperity into a man's hands just to see how miserable he can make himself with them.
  • fierce unrest seethes at the core, of all existing things:, it was the eager wish to soar, that gave the gods their wings.
  • Fishing is a delusion entirely surrounded by liars in old clothes.
  • Happiness is the interval between periods of unhappiness.
  • Honesty is a good thing, but it is not profitable to its possessor unless it is kept under control.
  • How often when they find a sage, As sweet as Socrates or Plato; They hand him hemlock for his wage, Or bake him like a sweet potato!
  • I get up in the morning with an idea for a three-volume novel and by nightfall it's a paragraph in my column.
  • I say that I am myself, but what is this Self of mine But a knot in the tangled skein of things where chance and change combine?
  • I would rather start a family than finish one.
  • Ideas pull the trigger, but instinct loads the gun.
  • If a child shows himself to be incorrigible, he should be decently and quietly beheaded at the age of twelve, lest he grow to maturity marry, and perpetuate his kind.
  • If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; But if you really make them think, they'll hate you.
  • If you want to get rich from writing, write the sort of thing that's read by persons who move their lips when they're reading to themselves.
  • In order to influence a child, one must be careful not to be that child's parent or grandparent.
  • Man cannot be uplifted; he must be seduced into virtue.
  • Middle age is the time when a man is always thinking that in a week or two he will feel as good as ever.
  • now and then
    there is a person born
    who is so unlucky
    that he runs into accidents
    which started out to happen
    to somebody else
  • Of middle age the best that can be said is that a middle-aged person has likely learned how to have a little fun in spite of his troubles.
  • Ours is a world where people don't know what they want and are willing to go through hell to get it.
  • Pity the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
  • Poetry is what Milton saw when he went blind.
  • prohibition makes you want to cry into your beer and denies you the beer to cry into
  • Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.
  • Punctuality is one of the cardinal business virtues: always insist on it in your subordinates.
  • Science has always been too dignified to invent a good backscratcher.
  • Some persons are likeable in spite of their unswerving integrity.
  • Successful people are the ones who think up things for the rest of the world to keep busy at.
  • The art of newspaper paragraphing is to stroke a platitude until it purrs like an epigram.
  • The chief obstacle to the progress of the human race is the human race.
  • There is luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel no one else has a right to blame us.
  • There is nothing so habit-forming as money.
  • We pay for the mistakes of our ancestors, and it seems only fair that they should leave us the money to pay with.
  • When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: "Whose?"
  • When you can't have anything else, you can have virtue.

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