[lit-ideas] Re: Lagniappe for Mr Miller

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 11:06:04 -0700

David Ritchie wrote:

Arthur Miller?

Any of these Millers?

Results *1* - *10* of about *54,900,000* for *mr miller*. (*0.30* seconds)

Not even warm. Joaquin Miller (1837-1913), 'the Poet of the Sierras,' sometime Oregon resident


and author of 'Columbus,' a rousing screed that made for satisfactory declaiming, in our freshman year of high school.

Behind him lay the gray Azores, 
  Behind the Gates of Hercules; 
Before him not the ghost of shores,     
  Before him only shoreless seas.       
The good mate said: “Now must we pray,           5
  For lo! the very stars are gone.      
Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?” 
  “Why, say, ‘Sail on! sail on! and on!’”   

[Four more stanzas follow:  http://www.bartleby.com/248/798.html]

In 1868, Miller's first book of poetry "Specimens" was published by William D. Carter in Portland. The first book and Miller's second, "Joaquin et Al," were both ignored by American critics, even the "Bards of San Francisco Bay" to whom Miller dedicated the second volume.

Chagrined, as well as discouraged, Miller went to England, the mother country of the poets. But the English publishers of 1870 were unimpressed and Miller was forced to print 100 copies of his "Pacific Poems" at his own expense. Success was immediate and staggering. The London literat[i] lionized the painstakingly crude frontiersman with the delicate writing touch. Miller captured entire drawing rooms of British intelligentsia, dazzling them with his velvet coat, hip boots and the bear rug he threw on the floor to comfort him as he spouted his own writings.


Arthur Miller, indeed!

Robert Paul
The Lake Oswego Poetaster
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