Carolyn Wells

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Rating: 4.33

Carolyn Wells Poems

Oh, it was a merry, gladsome day,
When the April Fool met the Queen of May;
She had roguish eyes and golden hair,
...

A Spider and a Centipede went out to take a walk;
The Centipede said frankly, 'I will listen while you talk,
...

There lived in ancient Scribbletown a wise old writer-man,
Whose name was Homer Cicero Demosthenes McCann.
...

4.

Two shall be born the whole world wide apart,
And speak in different tongues, and pay their debts
In different kinds of coin; and give no heed
Each to the other's being. And know not
...

A canner exceedingly canny
One morning remarked to his granny:
...

A kitten went a-walking
One morning in July,
And idly fell a-talking
With a great big butterfly.
...

There was an ambitious young eel
Who determined to ride on a wheel;
But try as he might,
He couldn't ride right,
...

There was a ridiculous Rat
Who was awfully puffy and fat.
'I'll carry,' he said,
'This plate on my head,
...

Ten Christmas presents standing in a line;
Robert took the bicycle, then there were nine.
Nine Christmas presents ranged in order straight;
...

'There's a train at 4.04,' said Miss Jenny;
'Four tickets I'll take. Have you any?'
Said the man at the door:
'Not four for 4.04,
...

I don't know why I'm slandered so,
If I go high,--if I go low,--
There's always some one who will say,
'Just see that mercury to-day!'
...

Prince Curlilocks remarked one day
To Princess Dimplecheek,
'I haven't had a real good play
For more than 'most a week.'
...

Once there was a Pirate Poodle,
And he sailed the briny seas
From the land of Yankee Doodle
Southward to the Caribbees.
...

This is the Queen of Nonsense Land,
She wears her bonnet on her hand;
She carpets her ceilings and frescos her floors,
...

A was an apt Alligator,
Who wanted to be a head-waiter;
He said, 'I opine
In that field I could shine,
...

Betty Botta bought some butter;
'But,' said she, 'this butter's bitter!
If I put it in my batter
It will make my batter bitter.
...

'Twas the night before the Fourth of July, the people slept serene;
The fireworks were stored in the old town hall that stood
...

This figure here before you is a Macaroni Man,
Who is built, as you may notice, on a most ingenious plan.
...

Triangular Tommy, one morning in May,
Went out for a walk on the public highway.
Just here I will say,
'Twas a bright sunny day,
...

Our Bobby is a little boy, of six years old, or so;
And every kind of rubbish in his pocket he will stow.
...

Carolyn Wells Biography

Carolyn Wells (June 18, 1862–March 26, 1942) was an American author and poet (born in Rahway, New Jersey, the daughter of William E. and Anna Wells.She died at the Flower-Fifth Avenue Hospital in New York City in 1942.

She had been married to Hadwin Houghton, the heir of the Houghton-Mifflin publishing empire founded by Bernard Houghton. Wells also had an impressive collection of volumes of poetry by others. She bequeathed her collection of Walt Whitman poetry, said to be one of the most important of its kind for its completeness and rarity, to the Library of Congress (New York Times, Apr. 16, 1942).

After finishing school she worked as a librarian for the Rahway Library Association. Her first book, At the Sign of the Sphinx (1896), was a collection of charades. Her next publications were The Jingle Book and The Story of Betty (1899), followed by a book of verse entitled Idle Idyls (1900). After 1900, Wells wrote numerous novels and collections of poetry.

Carolyn Wells wrote a total of more than 170 books. During the first ten years of her career, she concentrated on poetry, humor, and children's books. According to her autobiography, The Rest of My Life (1937), around 1910 she heard one of Anna Katherine Green's mystery novels being read aloud and was immediately captivated by the unravelling of the puzzle. From that point onward, she devoted herself to the mystery genre. Among the most famous of her mystery novels were the Fleming Stone Detective Stories which—according to Allen J. Hubin's Crime Fiction IV: A Comprehensive Bibliography, 1749–2000 (2003)—number 61 titles.

Today, however, she is best known for her light verse, particularly for several classic limericks, including this one:

A canner exceedingly canny
One morning remarked to his granny:
“A canner can can
Any thing that he can
But a canner can’t can a can, can he?”

The Best Poem Of Carolyn Wells

An April Joke

Oh, it was a merry, gladsome day,
When the April Fool met the Queen of May;
She had roguish eyes and golden hair,
And they were a mischief-making pair.
They planned the funniest kind of a joke
On the poor, long-suffering mortal folk;
And a few mysterious words he said,
His fool's cap close to her flower-crowned head.
Then he laughed till he made his cap-bells ring,
At the thought of the topsy-turvy Spring.
''Tis a fair exchange,' he said, with a wink--
'It is!' she said, and what do you think?
The flowers that should bloom in the month of May
Every one of them came on an April day!
And they looked for April showers in vain,
But all through May it did nothing but rain!

Carolyn Wells Comments

Carolyn Wells Quotes

I have always hated biography, and more especially, autobiography. If biography, the writer invariably finds it necessary to plaster the subject with praises, flattery and adulation and to invest him with all the Christian graces. If autobiography, the same plan is followed, but the writer apologizes for it.

... as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the ideal library is in the wish of its maker.

There are many ways of discarding [books]. You can give them to friends,—or enemies,—or to associations or to poor Southern libraries. But the surest way is to lend them. Then they never come back to bother you.

To take pride in a library kills it. Then, its motive power shifts over to the critical if admiring visitor, and apologies are necessary and acceptable and the fat is in the fire.

... ideals, standards, aspirations,—those are chameleon words, and take color from their speakers,—often false tints. A scholarly man of my acquaintance once told me that he traveled a thousand miles into the desert to get away from the word uplift, and it was the first word he heard after he reached his destination.

It is the interest one takes in books that makes a library. And if a library have interest it is; if not, it isn't.

All through the nineties I met people. Crowds of people. Met and met and met, until it seemed that people were born and hastily grew up, just to be met.

... advice is one of those things it is far more blessed to give than to receive.

I am more fond of achieving than striving. My theories must prove to be facts or be discarded as worthless. My efforts must soon be crowned with success, or discontinued.

Carolyn Wells Popularity

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