Stoddard King (1926) What the Queen Said – Poetry Spokane Humorist

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King, Stoddard. What the Queen Said and Further Facetious Fragments. (New York: George H. Doran, [©1926])

DuoDecimo. xii, 15-149. Hardcover. Black cloth-covered boards with paper labels laid onto cover and spine.

Condition: VG with darkening to the edges and previous owner’s signature to first free end paper. King’s obituary pasted to front end papers.

King was a poet, humorist and columnist. As a humorist, his work is uncommon because it comes from the West. His work can be categorized with other notable humorists such as Mark Twain and Eugene Field, although they came from Missouri. Also, his style is unlike classic humorists of European literature, although he drew influence from them.

King’s poetry while writing daily as a columnist for the Spokane Spokesman-Review consistently reflects his comic sensibility. However, his work cannot be solely deemed humorous, for many of his poems have outstanding merit. An example are his volumes of poetry that were published in New York and written in rhyme and meter. Highly esteemed poet Vachel Lindsay confirms the quality of King’s poems, saying:

“Stoddard, the King of the revels of Spokane, is a jester of royal descent. He is to be compared to Falstaff, in the taverns, to Touchstone in the Forest of Arden. He is the grave digger in Hamlet, the porter listening to the gate in Macbeth. He is like the jester in King Lear, faithful to Cordelia. He is like Ariel, in the Tempest. Ninety of the pieces in his book are royal wit, and nine of them are big poems.