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  • tjmarkle2005
    Aug 5, 2012
      I own the 6th, 8th and 9th editions of Leaves from a Grass House. I don't own a 1st edition to know what the first poem title of, Some Lines Scratched on the Door of Vagabond's House was. The key word is SCRATCHED. In the 8th edition the title was changed to; Some Lines SCRAWLED on the Door of Vagabond's House. This appeared to be satisfactory to Blanding as he left the title unchanged when published in 1928. The rest of the wording remains the same as far as I can tell. The change might have occurred in the 7th edition but I don't own that edition.

      Vagabond's House appears to be the original title of this poem, and also, the last title when published in 1928. In between those years the poem itself was developed with changes occurring in text and title. My recent purchase of this poem was titled, THE DREAM HOUSE OF A VAGABOND. The text was still developing and was the same as the final 1928 poem but was missing stanza's that I believe were developed later. So, the shorter version was, I believe, developed into the longer final version sometime after 1925 or 1926.

      Aloha House was developed, so I believe, during or after the publication of his third book, FLOWERS OF THE RAINBOW in 1926. This book was dedicated to his mother, a sentimental touch for sure. It also had a poem entitled, Aloha, on page 53. I think DB with true sentiment, created the Aloha House poem because he was in the Aloha mood of Hawaii and then substituted Aloha House for the original Vagabond's House poem. This poem change occurred in the 9th printing when Aloha House first appeared in print, replacing Vagabond's House. If I knew what year the 9th edition was printed we could pin point when Aloha House became public. Between 1926 and 1928 the title was changed back to Vagabond's House, the final title published in 1928.

      The development of these two poems became instrumental in creating the image and identity of Donald Benson Blanding as the Vagabond Poet. It wasn't just his so called vagabonding ways that created the moniker he lived with the rest of his life. It was the two poems and their final publication in 1928 that created the national image conjured up whenever the name Don Blanding appeared in print. He was no longer Don Blanding. He was Don Blanding, The Vagabond Poet.

      I'd appreciate any responses or different/better information than I presently have. I think my poem purchase from my Croation friend was pretty important to the developmental history of this poem. It took years to create Vagabond's House as it appeared in 1928.