Poet of the Plain People

Image from The Vantage Point

In Memoriam

Edgar A. Guest, “Poet of the Plain People,” whose poetry has been published for many years in The Sunday Post, died last week. In memoriam, the Sunday Post reprints the one poem written by Mr. Guest which stands out from all the rest, “It Takes a Heap o’ Livin’ in a House t’ Make it Home.”

(Copyright by The Reilly & Lee company, publishers.)

It takes a heap o’ livin’
In a house t’ make it home,
A heap 0′ sun an’ shadder,
And ye sometimes have t’ roam
Afore ye really ‘preciate
The things ye left behind,
An’ hunger fer ’em somehow,
With ’em allus on yer mind.
It don’t make any difference
How rich ye get t’ be,
How much yer chairs an’ tables cost,
How great yer luxury;
It ain’t home t’ ye,
Though it be the palace of a king,
Until somehow yer soul
Is sort o’ wrapped round everything.

Home ain’t a place that gold can buy
Or get up in a minute;
Afore it’s home there’s got t’ be
A heap o’ livin’ in it;
Within the walls there’s got t’ be
Some babies born, and then
Right there ye’ve got t’ bring ’em up
T’ women good, an’ men;
And gradjerly, as time goes on,
Ye find ye wouldn’t part
With anything they ever used —
They’ve grown into yer heart:
The old high chairs, the playthings, too,
The little shoes they wore
Ye hoard; an’ if ye could
Ye’d keep the thumbmarks on the door.

Ye’ve got t’ weep t’ make it home,
Ye’ve got t’ sit an’ sigh
An’ watch beside a loved one’s bed,
An’ know that Death is nigh;
Ye’ve got t’ sing an’ dance fer years,
Ye’ve got t’ romp an’ play,
An’ learn t’ love the things
Ye have by usin’ ’em each day;
Even the roses ’round the porch
Must blossom year by year
Afore they ‘come a part 0, ye,
Suggestin’ someone dear
Ye’ve got t’ love each brick an’ stone
From cellar up t’ dome:
It takes a heap o’ livin’
In a house t’ make it home.

The Bridgeport Post (Bridgeport, Connecticut) Aug 9, 1959

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2 Responses to “Poet of the Plain People”

  1. Lloyd Carpenter Says:

    Hi folks
    I am new to this blog, but I am loving it. I am an historian of the Central Otago gold rush in New Zealand (1862) and find so much of what you post resonates with our experiences.
    Well done!

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