Image of Madison Cawein


Lifetime: 1865 - 1914 Passed: ≈ 109 years ago




United States

Madison Cawein

Madison Julius Cawein was a poet from Louisville, Kentucky.

Madison Julius Cawein was born in Louisville, Kentucky on March 23, 1865, the fifth child of William and Christiana (Stelsly) Cawein. His father made patent medicines from herbs. Thus as a child, Cawein became acquainted with and developed a love for local nature.

After graduating from high school, Cawein worked in a pool hall in Louisville as a cashier in Waddill's New-market, which also served as a gambling house. He worked there for six years, saving his pay so he could return home to write.

His output was thirty-six books and 1,500 poems. His writing presented Kentucky scenes in a language echoing Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats. He soon earned the nickname the "Keats of Kentucky". He was popular enough that, by 1900, he told the Louisville Courier-Journal that his income from publishing poetry in magazines amounted to about $100 a month.

In 1912 Cawein was forced to sell his Old Louisville home, St James Court (a 2+1⁄2-story brick house built in 1901, which he had purchased in 1907), as well as some of his library, after losing money in the 1912 stock market crash. In 1914 the Authors Club of New York City placed him on their relief list. He died on December 8 later that year and was buried in Cave Hill Cemetery.

Books by Madison Cawein

Clouds of the Autumn Night Cover image

Clouds of the Autumn Night

Love Romance Poems Verses Fortnightly

A tribute to the Autumnal Equinox this week, taken from Myth and Romance Being a Book of verses by MADISON CAWEIN.

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Poems Verses Fortnightly Prose Reading

Ten readings of September by Madison Cawein. This was the weekly poetry project for the week of September 21st, 2014.

Contrasts Cover image


Beauty River Devotion Poems Forest Journey Fortnightly Darkness

It explores the themes of nature, beauty, and love. Published in 1893, it consists of over 50 poems that take readers on a journey through the natural world, from the forests and rivers of Kentucky to the mountains of the West. Cawein's lyrical and...

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Beauty Imagery Poems Journey Fortnightly Magic Mysticism

This timeless work of poetry celebrates the vivid colors, mystical atmosphere, and transformative power of October. Madison Cawein, a revered poet known for his lyrical style and nature-inspired verses, crafts a mesmerizing portrait of the autumnal...

The Quarrel Cover image

The Quarrel

Power Health Poems Emotion Verses Fortnightly Danger

A quarrel between siblings can be as fierce as a battle between two armies. In this poem, Madison Cawein captures the raw emotion of a sibling quarrel. The speaker is angry with his sister, and he vents his anger in a series of vivid images. He comp...

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The Garden of Dreams

Dream Nature Poems Dark Laws Verses Imagination Danger

Step into the Garden of Dreams, where reality and fantasy collide. The Garden of Dreams by Madison Cawein is a collection of enchanting poems that transport readers to a world of wonder and imagination. In his lyrical prose, Cawein paints vivid pict...

Old Man Rain Cover image

Old Man Rain

Beauty Dream Poems Life Verses Fortnightly Nostalgia

Through vivid imagery and evocative language, Cawein paints a poetic portrait of the Bluegrass State, capturing its natural beauty, rich history, and the enduring spirit of its people. From the rolling hills and verdant forests to the bustling towns...