Cawein, Madison

[1865-1914]

(3)

Born at Louisville, Kentucky, March 23, 1865. Educated in the public schools of that city. He began writing very early and published his first book of verse, "Blooms of the Berry", 1887, when but twenty-two years of age. From that time until his death, December 7, 1915 [sic], he published many volumes of poetry inspired chiefly by the theme of nature. As most of these volumes are out of print, it is unnecessary to list them all, but among the more important may be cited: "Intimations of the Beautiful", 1894; "Undertones", 1896; "The Garden of Dreams", 1896; "Myth and Romance", 1899; "Weeds by the Wall", 1901; "Kentucky Poems", with an Introduction by Edmund Gosse, London, 1902; "A Voice on the Wind", 1902; "The Vale of Tempe", 1905; "Complete Poetical Works", 5 volumes, 1907; "New Poems", London, 1909; "Poems — A Selection from the Complete Work", 1911; "The Poet, the Fool, and the Fairies", 1912; "Minions of the Moon", 1913; "The Poet and Nature", 1914; and "The Cup of Comus", posthumous publication, 1915. Mr. Cawein was distinctly the creator of his own field. From the publication of his first little volume, "Blooms of the Berry", he had made himself the intimate, almost the mystic, comrade of nature. He had an ecstatic sense of the visible world. Beauty was his religion, and he spent his life learning the ways and moods of nature and declaring them in poetry rich in imagination. He had the naturalist's eagerness for truth, and one might explore the Kentucky woods and fields with a volume of his poetry as a handbook and find the least regarded flower minutely celebrated. In his most affluent fancy his eye never left the fact, and the accuracy of his observation gives his nature work a background which adds greatly to its value.