Eugene Field, Missouri Poet and News Reporter
Have you ever heard of “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod”? You likely recognize those names and realize that they have something to do with… sleep. Eugene Field (1850-1895) wrote a whole poem about “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod” and how they “sailed off in a wooden shoe.” He called it “Dutch Lullaby.” It is his most famous poem, but he wrote dozens of others which were also very popular.
He had trouble finding a career and holding onto money. Finally, he met and married Julia Comstock, and placed her in charge of all of his paychecks. Everything improved after that. He found his place working as a newspaper reporter and later wrote a gossipy column for the Chicago Daily News about people, parties, art, and books.
His poems for children were, by far, his most lasting legacy, though. Throughout the US, at least 30 elementary schools are named after him.
Read more about the writer and his family here: https://fieldhousemuseum.org/about/field-family-history.
The Field House Museum
Eugene Field’s childhood home at 834 South Broadway in St. Louis, Missouri, was turned into The Field House Museum with exhibits about his life and, most appropriately, about children’s toys.
You can read Field’s poetry at www.gutenberg.org.
This is the second stop on our Missouri Author Adventures Trail.
Rebecca Blake Beech