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Reviews of archy and mehitabel (1926)

Review by spiphany (2005-06-27)
A quirky collection of poems told from the unusual perspective of a cockroach and an alley cat. The quality of the writing varies, but overall the gimmick works pretty well. I found that this style of humorous writing appeals to me more than the nonsensical stuff by Shel Silverstein and the like. I found the 'mehitabel' poems a bit tedious at times, and personally didn't care for them as much as the 'archy' poems. I identified with archy's personality a bit more. The best poems in the collection are the ones which combine archy's views from the world of insects with insight into human society. For example:

i once heard the survivors
of a colony of ants
that had been partially
obliterated by a cow s foot
seriously debating
the intention of the gods
towards their civilization

There are several more volumes of the archy poems. I don't think they're quite as good; the ideas repeat themselves a bit and Marquis has a bit of difficulty keeping the premise fresh. But if you enjoyed this one, the others are probably worth seeking out as well.




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