Document Type


Publication Title

The New England Quarterly


MIT Press

Publication Date


Publisher location

Cambridge, Mass.

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Last Page


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Volume Number


Abstract/ Summary

Herbert Halpert's work in collecting and making other collectors conscious of the cante fable in America is well known. In "The Cante Fable in Decay," he suggested two reasons why we have not found more cante fables here. First, folksong collectors have not asked for tales with songs in them. Second, many of the ones we have found are so corrupt as to be unrecognizable. Often, he goes on to say, "the rhyme itself is all of the story that is told while the narrative details are relegated to a purely informative function and may or may not be given-depending largely upon whether the collector asks for elucidation of the rhyme." It is interesting to me that in my collecting work in Maine, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, I have found sixteen rather clear examples (some of them with many variants) of one type of the cante fable: the humorous anecdote with the verse for its clincher. In almost every case I was first told the story and then the rhyme; in most cases the whole cante fable was volunteered before I had thought to ask for it. Further, all of them are clustered about the gaunt figure of Larry Gorman, the Archpoet of the northeast lumberwoods.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Ives, E. D. (June 1959). Larry Gorman and the Cante Fable. The New England Quarterly, 32(2), 226-237


publisher's version of the published document

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