Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig
Madison Cawein papers
University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506
Arranged alphabetically by manuscript title.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Madison Cawein papers, 1889-1914, 1M87M40, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.
.45 cubic ft.
Poet. Madison Julius Cawein was born in Louisville, Ky. to German parents on March 23, 1865. He attended Male High School, graduating in 1886. Cawein cited the influence of the English Romantic poets on his own work, particularly Keats, Shelly, Coleridge, Tennyson, Browning and Wordsworth. His first publication, BLOOMS OF THE BERRY (1887), was praised by critics William Dean Howells, and James Whitcomb Riley. Cawien was recognized as a poet of nature since his works often reflected his interest in Kentucky flora and fauna. Joyce Kilmer wrote that Cawein was "the greatest nature poet of his time" (CATHOLIC WORLD, March 1917). Before his sudden death at the age of forty-nine in 1914, Cawien published thirty books.
The papers of Kentucky poet Madison J. Cawein consist of three manuscripts by the author and one photograph (removed to the Photo Archives). In the manuscript for ACCOLON OF GAUL (1889) there are several Cawein Poems. This title was published by John P. Morton Company in 1889.ADVENTURERS, an undated manuscript, consists of poems selected from other volumes written by Cawein. The third manuscript consists of answers to questions asked of Cawein by his friend, Louisville attorney William Thurm in April, 1914. In these essays Cawein reflects on his German and French ancestry, his views on Christianity, and the literary influences on this work, particularly the English Romantics. These essays were reproduced in THE STORY OF A POET: MADISON CAWEIN, by Otto Rothert, Filson Club Publication, number 30 (1921). Photocopies of the manuscripts are included in the collection.