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Morris, George Pope

Category: Poet

and he was left handed

George Pope Morris (1802 –1864) was an American editor, poet, and songwriter.

With Nathaniel Parker Willis,  he co-founded the daily New York Evening Mirror.  On January 29, 1845, the Evening Mirror published an "advance copy" of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven”. It was the first publication of that poem with the author's name. The publishing partners also issued an anthology called The Prose and Poetry of America in 1845.

In addition to his publishing and editorial work, Morris was popular as a poet and songwriter; especially well-known was his poem-turned-song "Woodman, Spare that Tree!" His songs in particular were popular enough that Graham's Magazine in Philadelphia promised Morris $50, sight unseen, for any work he wanted to publish in the periodical.

 "Woodman, Spare that Tree!" was first published in the January 17, 1837, issue of the Mirror under the title "The Oak" and was that year set to music by Henry Russell before being reprinted under its more common title in 1853. Lines from the poem are often quoted by environmentalists.

 

The poem was also included in one of Morris's volumes of collected poems, The Deserted Bride and Other Poems, 1838, which ran into several editions.

Edgar Allan Poe  said about his songs
"[they] have taken fast hold upon the popular taste, and are deservedly celebrated".

And that Morris was  "very decidedly, our best writer of songs—and, in saying this, I mean to assign him a high rank as poet".
 Willis wrote of Morris:

"He is just what poets would be if they sang like birds without criticism... nothing can stop a song of his".

 

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