Strickland Gillilan

(1869–1954 / United States)

Biography of Strickland Gillilan

Strickland Gillilan (1869–1954) was an American poet and humorist. He is most famous for the poem The Reading Mother which remains a common sentiment on Mother's Day. He is also recognized as the author of Lines on the Antiquity of Microbes, said to be the shortest poem ever written. Much of his work is public domain and is often reproduced in greeting cards.

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The Reading Mother

I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea.
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth;
'Blackbirds' stowed in the hold beneath.

I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.

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