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James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

James Whitcomb Riley
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James Whitcomb Riley was an American writer, poet, and best selling author. During his lifetime he was known as the Hoosier Poet and Children's Poet for his dialect works and his children's poetry respectively. His poems tended to be humorous or sentimental, and of the approximately one thousand poems that Riley authored, the majority are in dialect. His famous works include "Little Orphant Annie" and "The Raggedy Man".

Riley began his career writing verses as a sign maker and submitting poetry to newspapers. Thanks in part to an endorsement from poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, he eventually earned successive jobs at Indiana newspaper publishers during the latter 1870s. Riley ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
    An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
    Ef you
    Don't
    Watch
    Out!''
    James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916), U.S. poet. Little Orphant Annie (l. 7-12). . . Oxford Book of Children's Verse, The. Iona Opie and Peter Opie, e...
  • ''Little Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
    An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,''
    James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916), U.S. poet. Little Orphant Annie (l. 1-2). . . Oxford Book of Children's Verse, The. Iona Opie and Peter Opie, ed...
  • ''the ache here in the throat,
    To know that I so ill deserve the place
    Her arms make for me;''
    James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916), U.S. poet. When She Comes Home (l. 10-12). . . Anthology of American Poetry. George Gesner, ed. (1983) Avenel Bo...
  • a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
    With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
    As he leaves the house, bare-headed, and goes out to feed the stock,
    When the fr...
    James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916), U.S. poet. When the Frost Is on the Punkin (l. 5-8). . . Oxford Book of American Light Verse, The. William Harmo...
  • ''When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
    And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,''
    James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916), U.S. poet. When the Frost Is on the Punkin (l. 1-2). . . Oxford Book of American Light Verse, The. William Harmo...
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  • Jules Levin (11/15/2013 11:13:00 AM)

    I am looking for the date of writing/publishing for each poem and could not find it on the site.
    Am I overlooking something obvious?

  • Joybaby John (11/1/2012 6:57:00 AM)

    Hi,
    I am miss joy by name, Is my pleasure to contact you after going through your profile at /www.poemhunter.com which really interest me in having communication with you. I will appreciate if you can write me back (joybabyjohn25@yahoo.co.uk) for easiest communication and to know more about each other so that i will explain myself to you and also send my picture to you.
    Take care and have a nice day.
    I await hearing from you soonest.
    Yours truly
    joy

    (joybabyjohn25@yahoo.co.uk)

  • Catharine Dee (3/10/2012 2:21:00 PM)

    Date of birth listed above is wrong. It's October 7th not the 9th.

  • Stella Mary (1/3/2012 5:00:00 AM)

    I read your poems and it was good.

  • Tony Judson (9/15/2006 8:21:00 AM)

    James I read your 'poem of the day' and I think it is brilliant! your sense of rythmn & rhyme is beautiful and your poetic license with spelling and alliteration is superb.
    It makes wish I could have been the fly on the wall in a meeting between you and the late Ogden Nash- Keep it up Cheers Tony Judson

  • Carolyn Binkley (10/6/2005 6:47:00 PM)

    James Whitcomb Riley is by far one of my favorite poets of all time. I love his imagery, his imagination, his rhyme and rhythm. And most of all I love his sense of 'simple' and his connection to the nature in all of us. He cleverly plays with that which is real, unlike Lewis Carroll who cleverly plays with that which is not.

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