Field, Eugene, A Little Book of Tribune Verse, a Number of Hitherto Uncollected Poems, Grave and Gay. Collected and Edited by Joseph G. Brown. Denver, Colo[rado]: Tandy, Wheeler & Co. Publishers, 1901. 19.5 cm, 255 numbered pages. Bound in gilt-stamped green cloth. First edition. A manuscript poem in Eugene Field’s hand is laid in at page 208, “A Mexican Ballad.” There is a note on the verso of the slightly worn page of annotated manuscript poetry (“No. 79”, stanzas marked off in red): “This is the handwriting of my father, Eugene Field. Eugene Field II, May 8, 1919”. Fine. A journalist and poet, Eugene Field (1850 – 1895) is known as “The Children’s Poet.” On the surface, Field’s poetry may seem sub-literary, but it evokes an innocence and a mischievous need to poke fun at cultural icons and captains of industry. The manuscript poem laid-in also evokes the attitudes of Texans and Westerners of the time: “There was a Greaser bold and staid, / Don Gomez del Gomazza, / Who loved a gentle Greaser maid, / The Donna Frontpiazza.” See Charles Hamilton’s Great Forgers and Famous Fakes, the Manuscript Forgers of America & How They Duped the Experts. Crown Publishers, Inc., New York: 1980, pp. 78 – 79 for a comparison of an authentic Eugene Field Manuscript poem to a forgery created by his son, Eugene Field II. In Hamilton’s words and illustrations, a forgery by the son was found to be “… lacking the precision and meticulous beauty of the poet’s script.”
A manuscript poem in Eugene Field’s hand is laid in at page 208, “A Mexican Ballad.”
The poet’s views expressed in A Mexican Ballad by use of racial dialect and other means do not reflect the views, opinions or belief of the bookseller.
Eugene Field The Tribune Primer Boston Privately printed 1900