Lawyer and Child

By James Whitcomb Riley 1849–1916
How large was Alexander, father,
       That parties designate
The historic gentleman as rather
       Inordinately great?

Why, son, to speak with conscientious
       Regard for history,
Waiving all claims, of course, to heights pretentious,—
       About the size of me.

Source: Father: An Anthology of Verse (EP Dutton & Company, 1931)

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Poet James Whitcomb Riley 1849–1916

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

Holidays Father's Day

 James Whitcomb Riley

Biography

Known as “The Hoosier Poet” because of his birth in Indiana and poems celebrating the state, and as “The Children’s Poet” due to his appeal for young readers, James Whitcomb Riley was one of his day’s best-selling writers. Full of sentiment and traditional in form, his work features rustic subjects who speak in a homely, countrified dialect. When Riley died, Woodrow Wilson called him “a man who imparted joyful pleasure and a . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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