Melville Henry Cane (1879-1980). Courtesy University of West Virginia.

Melville Henry Cane
Born April 15, 1879(1879-Template:MONTHNUMBER-15)
Died 10, 1980(1980-Template:MONTHNUMBER-10) (aged 100)

Melville Henry Cane (April 15, 1879 - March 10, 1980) was an American poet and lawyer.


Cane was born in Plattsburgh, New York on April 15, 1879. His father was a merchant.[1]

Cane earned an A.B. degree from Columbia University in 1900 and a law degree, also from Columbia, in 1903. During his college years, he wrote poetry and worked as a reporter for the New York Post.[1]

Admitted to the bar in 1903, Cane began his legal practice in New York City in 1905 with the law firm, Ernst, Cane and Berner and was primarily with the firm until his death in 1980. His special area of practice was copyright law. [2]

Cane was a legal counsel to notable writers like Sinclair Lewis, Upton Sinclair, Ayn Rand, William Saroyan, and Thomas Wolfe. He served on the board of directors for Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc., and was a members of the Association of the Bar (New York City) and the Poetry Society of America.[1]


Cane was awarded the Frost Medal by the Poetry Society of America in 1971 for lifetime achievement.



  • January Garden. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1926.
  • Behind Dark Spaces. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1930.
  • Poems: New and selected. New York: Harcourt Brace 1938.
  • A Wider Arc: Poems. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1947.
  • And Pastures New: A collection of poems. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1956.
  • Bullet-Hunting, and other new poems. New York: Harcourt, Jovanovich, 1960.
  • To Build a Fire. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1963.
  • So That it Flower: A gathering of poems. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966.
  • Eloquent April: New poems and prose. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1971.
  • Snow Toward Evening. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1974.
  • The First Firefly, New poems and prose. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1974.


  • Making a Poem: An inquiry into the creative process. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1953; 2nd edition, 1962.
  • All and Sundry, An oblique autobiography. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968.


  • The Man From Main Street: Selected Essays and Other Writings of Sinclair Lewis (edited by Harry E. Maule & Melville H. Cane). London: Heinemann, 1954.
  • The Golden Year: The Poetry Society of America Anthology (1910-1960) (edited by Melville Cane, John Farrar & Louise Townsend Nicholl). New York: Fine Editions Press, 1960.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy West Virginia University.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 James Elkins, Melville Henry Cane (1879-1980), Strangers to Us All: Lawyers and Poetry, University of West Virginia. Web, Apr. 10, 2018.
  2. Melville Cane, All and Sundry: An oblique autobiography. New York: Harcourt, brace & World, 1968.

External linksEdit

Original Penny's Poetry Pages article, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.