Madison Julius Cawein

(1865-1914 / the United States)

Madison Julius Cawein
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Madison Cawein (23 March 1865 – 8 December 1914) was a poet from Louisville, Kentucky, whose poem "Waste Land" has been linked with T. S. Eliot's later The Waste Land.

Cawein's father made patent medicines from herbs. Cawein thus became acquainted with and developed a love for local nature as a child. He worked in a Cincinnati pool hall as an assistant cashier for six years, saving his pay so he could return home to write. His output was thirty-six books and 1,500 poems. He was known as the "Keats of Kentucky."

In 1912 Cawein was forced to sell his Old Louisville home, St James Court (a two-and-a-half story brick house built in 1901, which he had ... more »

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Best Poem of Madison Julius Cawein

A Yellow Rose

The old gate clicks, and down the walk,
Between clove-pink and hollyhock,
Still young of face though gray of lock,
Among her garden's flowers she goes
At evening's close,
Deep in her hair a yellow rose.

The old house shows one gable-peak
Above its trees; and sage and leek
Blend with the rose their scents: the creek,
Leaf-hidden, past the garden flows,
That on it snows
Pale petals of the yellow rose.

The crickets pipe in dewy damps;
And everywhere the fireflies' lamps
Flame like the lights of Faery camps;
While, overhead, the soft sky ...

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