|Art History Poster © Jordan Wolter (2015)|
Jim Swann, quoted in Remar Sutton and Mary Abbott Waite, eds., The Common Ground Book: A Circle of Friends. Latham NY: British American Publishing, 1992, p. 32—
[My children and I] have a great game. It would be fun for grownups to do if they could let their hair down. The kids give me two animals and I make up a story. Of course they try to think of the most outrageous combination, like a cat and a roach, animals that will stump me.
From the introduction to Archy & Mehitabel (a cockroach and a cat) at the Don Marquis website—
Archy is a cockroach with the soul of a poet, and Mehitabel is an alley cat with a celebrated past — she claims she was Cleopatra in a previous life. Together, cockroach and cat are the foundation of one of the most engaging collections of light poetry to come out of the twentieth century.
“expression is the need of my soul,” declares Archy, who labored as a free-verse poet in an earlier incarnation. At night, alone, he dives furiously on the keys of Don Marquis’ typewriter to describe a cockroach’s view of the world, rich with cynicism and humor. It’s difficult enough to operate the typewriter’s return bar to get a fresh line of paper; all of Archy’s dispatches are written lowercase, and without punctuation, because he is unable to hit both shift and letter keys to produce a capital letter.