Sam Walter Foss

Sam Walter Foss

About Sam Walter Foss

Sam Walter Foss (Candia, New Hampshire, June 19, 1858 – February 26, 1911) was an American poet, humorist, and librarian. He was born in Candia, a town in New Hampshire, in rural New England. Foss graduated from Portsmouth High School in New Hampshire and later graduated from Brown University (1882). He was the owner and editor of the Saturday Union, a newspaper in Lynn, Massachusetts, where he published a weekly humor column. In 1891 he went to Boston, where he wrote first for the Yankee Blade and then for the Boston Globe. He began working as a librarian in 1898, in the Somerville Public Library, in Massachusetts, and in the thirteen years that he devoted to it, he transformed it into the second largest library in New England by circulation of funds. He married the daughter of a pastor, from whom he had a son and a daughter. During this period he contributed regularly to the Christian Science Monitor. He signed a contract to publish a poem a day in the newspapers, and the five volumes in which he collected these works are devoted to singing to the common man, in a simple way. Perhaps the poem that best expresses that theme and style is the famous one entitled The house by the side of the road, included in his book Dreams in Homespun (1897). He is buried in Providence, Rhode Island. The singer Lamya has set some of his poems to music.
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