Index to poems
Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and raised in Worcester, Thayer graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in philosophy in 1885 after editing the Harvard Lampoon. Its business manager, William Randolph Hearst, hired Thayer as humour columnist for the San Francisco Examiner 1886-88. His last piece, dated June 3, 1888, was a ballad entitled Casey. Although it made him famous, and Thayer recited it at a Harvard class reunion in 1895 and contributed several other comic poems for Hearst's New York Journal a year later, Thayer had a low opinion of the worth of his verse and turned to make his livelihood by overseeing his family's mills in Worcester. He moved to Santa Barbara in 1912, where he married Rosalind Buel Hammett and retired. Martin Gardner gives a brief life of Thayer in Casey at the Bat (2nd edn.: Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984; PS 3014 T3 C332 1984 Robarts Library).