Riley, James Whitcomb
Benj. F. Johnson of Boonehe began to write verse in the Hoosier dialect for the Indianapolis Journal in 1875, selections first collected in
The Old Swimmin'-Holeand 'Leven More Poems (1883). Riley's verse was popular because of its humor, pathos, simplicity, and sentimentality. Especially well-known are his children's poems such as
Little Orphant Annieand
The Runaway Boy.Among the collections of his verse are Rhymes of Childhood (1890) and Knee Deep in June (1912).
See biography by M. Dickey (Youth, 1919; Maturity, 1922); study by P. Revell (1970).
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