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He wrote How Did You Die? Author of IMPERTINENT POEMS Etc. Figure He wrote The Moo Cow Moo Author of CHRONICLES of the LITTLE TOT Etc. He wrote Born Without a Chance Edmund Vance Cooke Gives day-time chats for cheerful children, School addresses, Luncheon talks, and Evenings for men and women whose hearts are young, whose brains are buoyant, and who are still on the joyful job of living. These are offered in combination or separately, a la carte or table d'hote, and on terms not too inexpensive. HOME ADDRESS MAYFIELD ROAD, CLEVELAND He Wrote Fin de Siecle FRIENDLY YET FAVORABLE LOUIS J. ALBER has managed notables all of his life, notables ranging from ex-President Taft to Prince William of Sweden. He probably knows as much about speakers and platformists as any living man and he makes the following estimate of Edmund Vance Cooke, of whom, however, he has been the personal friend for three decades or more: If Cooke were a European poet coming to America with his works of accomplishment, his reputation, and his artistic ability to 'put it over,' his evenings would sell for four figures and, unlike many importations, he could go back again to the same places. Cooke puts his speeches into his poems. They are not only admirable: they are enjoyable. As William Allen White says of them, 'they hit straight from the shoulder,' and as Edwin Markham recently exclaimed, 'I could listen till cock crow.' Newton Baker ranks them with Whitman for their wisdom of democracy, and at the other extreme are Edward Howard Griggs and William Lyon Phelps who compare Cooke favorably with Riley, Stevenson and Field. From this it can be seen that they must have a remarkable quality of universal appeal and the record proves that they have. Cooke has talked face to face with over a million of children, which is probably more than any other man has done, living or dead. He has spoken to every sort of an adult audience from pulpit to prize-ring. This is not mere rhetoric; he talked poetry to a ring-side audience which had just witnessed a 'Battle Royal,' (if you know what that means) and even the negro pugilists came up to tell him how much they enjoyed his poems. He is equally at home in a baccalaureate address, or the mental rough and tumble of an Open Forum. The most aesthetic Woman's Club, or the hardest boiled group of tired business men find him equally interesting for the good and sufficient reason that he is a happy blend of the humorous and serious, the persuasive and provocative, the didactic and dramatic, and in all he is intensely human. Many of Cooke's poems, such as 'How did you die?' and 'The Sin of the Coppenter-Man' are known wherever English is spoken, and some of us think that many more of them will be known long after he has ceased to write and to talk, but as rare old Bill Nye said of him thirty years ago, 'Let us enjoy such men while we may and let them know it, rather than save our money for wovenwire wreaths for their cold and irresponsive clay.' NASHVILLE TENNESSEAN and The Cooke and the Kiddies. Edmund Vance Cooke is a man who can talk to men, a man who has written for men, and a man who influences men profoundly. That means that he is a great man—but it does not tell the measure of his greatness. Cooke has written for children, he can talk to children, and he exerts an influence over children that stays with them when they are men and women. And that is the measure of his greatness. Is it not the supreme measure of any man's greatness? The man who writes a ponderous book stuffed with facts—he is not the greatest author, neither is he the most worth while author. Not long ago one of England's most famous men of letters, when he had nearly completed his labor, when it was too late to change the trend of it, said, I would rather be the author of 'Alice in Wonderland' than of the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. And his estimate of the importance of the two types of work was correct. Any dullard may set down a fact that a dunce may learn and with it confound the world. Only a genius can create an impulse upon which a child can base a lifetime of service. And that is what Edmund Vance Cooke does. He has written numerous such impulses into numerous poems, great and small. But many comparatively unknown poets have done that. Cooke is greater that they in that. With his voice he can say those poems to boys and girls in such way that their effect is certain and enduring. The writer of these lines had known Edmund Vance Cooke for a number of years, had seen him work in the company of men, had established him as among the nation's great few. But he never knew the finest side of Cooke until he followed him the other day into half a dozen Nashville schools and heard him talk to the children—little tots in the first grade, and children through all grades to those who were ready to leave the schools. The ease with which this man placed himself upon easy terms with all the children at the very monnent that he began speaking to them was a marvel. At once, the speaker and the hearers were in position to understand and appreciate, each the other. Now, without that understanding, the poems that Cooke has written through a lifetime, great as they are, would not serve their purpose. Because of that they do serve their purpose, do become a part of the lives of the young people who hear them, do continue as a directing and shaping force in those lives. EXTRACTS FROM EDITORIALS THEODORE H. PRICE in Commerce and Finance (New York) We have all heard of the school girl who said that she did not like Shakespeare because his plays contained so many quotations. Mr. Cooke is in much the same case, for he has written many things that are constantly quoted. He is the author of at least a dozen books. As a lecturer he has spoken to an enormous number of people and as a writer he has contributed to over eighty periodicals, not to mention hundreds of newspapers. JOHN FARRAR in The Bookman (New York) Edmund Vance Cooke came in today looking for all the world like a somewhat gentler Richard Burton. His quiet air belies his sense of humor which is practically always present in his verse. Mr. Cooke is one of the few poets who can read their works to men and be applauded as well as heard. There is a quality of homely wisdom as well as entertainment and beauty in his verses that wins the masculine ear. A. E. WINSHIP in Journal of Education (Boston) Edmund Vance Cooke produces some new strain of verse every year or two, creating new thousands of readers who are not satisfied to hear it broadcast, who would not be satisfied to see him filmed, but who will buy tickets for the family that they may see his fascinating personality and hear his inimitable rendering of verses which no one else could have created. WILL H. PORTERFIELD in San Diego Sun Celebrities are not always pleasant persons to know intimately. But in the case of Edmund Vance Cooke, poet, story teller, entertainer, philosopher, sociologist, pacifist, friend of children, to know him is to really love him, and the better one knows him the greater the regard. To all of us Mr. Cooke has brought a message of optimism, good cheer, the real spirit that most of us comprehend in the broad term Christian. R. F. PAINE, editor emeritus The Cleveland Press Over thirty years ago there came to my editorial desk the smile of a youth, a quiet smile that registered hope, faith and confidence in the great scheme of life. For years this man has been doing a greater work than a great statesman, great scientist, or great executive. He is here today, the old smile still with him, and the joy of helping the folks, big and little, still his vision. Louisville Herald We have with us, ladies and gentlemen and young folks, Edmund Vance Cooke, poet, humorist, student of human nature and good, all around red-blooded American … now on a mission of education and good cheer in this city. SOME OF HIS PROGRAM ADDRESSES ARE THE JOYFUL JOB OF LIVING Choose your laughter! There is the acrid laughter of the cynic, the raucous laughter of the boor, the empty laughter of the fool. And then, there is that merry, mellifluous, musical laughter which comes bubbling up from within as though a merry heart danced a jig upon ticklesome ribs! (This address includes such poems as A good, old friend drops in, Otto and the Auto, The Moo Cow Moo, When Toddy ast the Blessin', Born without a chance, etc.) IS IT IMPORTANT? Drink or drama, sex or sport, philosophy or foolery, love or religion, money or matrimony, war or work, pragmatism or poetry,—what is it which gives to life that glamour we occasionally discover in our dearest dreams? Why do you lie? Why did God make the devil? Is a flat a home? Are we the most important political example? Is life a lemon? What would a man be if his wife were president? (This address includes such poems as I sometimes lie; don't you?, The Coppenter Man, Unverstaendlich, How did you die? etc., etc.) THE BOOK OF EXTENUATIONS Ford Hall, Boston, boasts of having had practically every speaker of note. Mr. Cooke, recalled to its platform for the third time, presented Extenuations and Rabbi Harry Levi wrote to George Coleman that it was Unquestionably the best address that ever came out of Ford Hall. IN NINETEEN HUNDRED AND NOW Touches modern life at many angles and combines inspiration, incentive and interest. It is a special favorite for Commencements. YOUR JOB and MINE is a special talk for Advertising Clubs. STOP, LOOK and LISTEN,—THE BONE DRY BOOTLEGGER,—SINGING FOR MY SUPPER are additional excuses for luncheon talks, etc. POETRY PERSONIFIED,—WHY IS A HERO?—WORD MAGIC are among many highly successful programs for School Assemblies. Something of a Record In the last twenty years Mr. Cooke has given over five hundred paid addresses in the city of Chicago, over one hundred and fifty in Cleveland, over eighty in Detroit, over fifty in Minneapolis, San Diego, Sioux City, over forty in Los Angeles, Columbus, over thirty in Pittsburgh, Akron, Harrisburg, over twenty-five in Cincinnati, Newark, Nashville, Omaha, Des Moines. He has appeared twice or more under such auspices as Town Hall, N. Y. City; Ford Hall, Boston; Cooper Union, N. Y. City; Buffalo Club, Buffalo; Kansas City Knife and Fork Club; Goodwyn Library, Memphis; University of Minnesota, Kansas State Agricultural College, Greater Buffalo Advertising Club, Cleveland Advertising Club, Western Pennsylvania Teachers Association, New Jersey State Teachers Association, Kansas State Teachers Association, Southern California State Teachers Association, Girard College, Philadelphia, and hundreds of others. He has made fifteen transcontinental tours, has spoken in every state of the Union but one, and has made a successful tour of England.
|Title||Edmund Vance Cooke|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
|Personal Name Subject||Cooke, Edmund Vance|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
|Rights Management||Educational use only, no other permissions given. U.S. and international copyright laws may protect this digital image. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder.|
|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||3|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|