Posts Tagged ‘Edgar A. Guest’

Crow Convention

October 7, 2012

Image from Fergal of Claddagh on Flickr


So deafening a tumult rose
From out a grove where gathered crows.
I said to Bill: “I fancy that’s
A group of feathered Democrats.”

“Republicans perhaps,” said Bill,
“Or what is even likelier still
So long the clamoring persists
Those inky birds are Communists.”

Convention time and early fall,
A patch of woods the meeting hall.
And all that bickering, I suppose,
About the common rights of crows.

“At times,” said I, “I envy birds,
Denied the privilege of words,
But when the crows convene again
I think how much they are like men.”

Morning Herald (Uniontown, Pennsylvania) Oct 19, 1932

Off to School

September 4, 2012


Throat a little lumpy,
Eyes a trifle dim;
Heart a wee bit jumpy
All because of him.
Countless mothers maybe,
Now the days are cool,
Sigh to see the baby
Starting off to school.

Strange that I should sigh so,
Now the day is here;
Strange that I should try so
Not to shed a tear.
Yet I stand here grieving
In the vestibule
As I think of leaving
Him all day in school.

Why this sinking feeling?
Why this moment’s pain?
What am I concealing
In my burning brain?
Can it be that mothers
Suffer deep concern
When at last from others
Babes begin to learn?

This the reason maybe
Heartache trouble me;
Never more the baby
Mine alone will be.
I no more can hold him
Mine to love and rule,
The world’s begun to mould him!
Now he’s off to school.

The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Sep 28, 1936

Poet of the Plain People

August 7, 2012

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

What They’re Coming To

March 7, 2012


By Edgar A. Guest
Copyright 1926

I do not fret o’er knee length skirts
or rings within the ears
Which much resemble as they swing
those old-time chandeliers;
I see the pretty modern girls who
shock our ancient crew
But I have not the slightest doubt of
what they’re coming to.

They’re on their way, as long ago,
were those good wives of ours
To pots and pans and kitchen stoves
and food a man devours;
To making beds and dusting chairs, to
bassinettes and cribs
And tucking under little chins those
hand embroidered bibs.

These modern styles, which age deplores,
will little change their lives,
They’re on their was to men like us
to be their faithful wives;
They’re on their way to humdrum tasks,
to nights of anxious care
And to the endless duties borne
by women everywhere.

These frivolous and pretty things with
baubels in their ears
Will rule the houses of the land in just
a few more years;
They’re on their way to every hurt and
joy that we’ve been through;
And there is not the slightest doubt of
what they’re coming to.

Morning Herald (Uniontown, Pennsylvania) Mar 22, 1926

The Thinker

February 16, 2012

Image from SOLID Principles Blog


There’s a fortune in store for the man who can Think
And glory to crown his endeavor;
He can come to renown, who will often sit down
Away from the wise men and clever;
And with reason to guide him will map out a plan
That is best for his country and best for the man.

The thoughtless are many, they swarm in a throng,
But the Thinkers are solemnly few,
But the man at the top, is the man who will stop
To ponder the course he’ll pursue;
And he never attacks any problem of doubt
Before he has carefully thought it all out.

Our country will honor the man who can Think,
For the need of his wisdom is great;
The man unafraid and not easily swayed
Is the man who shall fashion our fate,
For plausible Folly the mob often moves,
But the Thinker considers before he approves.

These are days for the Thinker, there’s much to be done,
And many the dangers to face,
And what seems to be good when it’s all understood
May be ruin and shame and disgrace.
Whenever arises a problem of doubt
For the good of our country let’s reason it out.

(Copyright, 1921, by Edgar A. Guest)

Oakland Tribune, (Oakland, California) Dec 5, 1921

Little Country Hospital

February 10, 2012


By Edgar A. Guest

The little country hospital is hidden out of view
And people seldom notice it as pleasure they pursue,
But let an accident befall — which is the fate of men —
The proudest man is glad to see the small-town doctor then.
And in that little hospital which humble folk maintain
He’ll find that hearts are merciful and quick to comfort pain.

It isn’t like the city place, with sections blocks apart,
Where every patient’s listed as a number on a chart
And specialists for this and that convene to thumb him o’er
And ask a thousand questions of the ills he’s had before.
For in the country hospital, which lacks all pomp and style,
The surgeon on his morning round had time to chat awhile.

And whether pain be in your groin, your stomach or your toe,
The cause of it the doctor there assuredly will know.
He will not shunt you round the plays for rays of that and this,
He’ll diagnose your case himself and very seldom miss.
And whosoe’er shall tread the hall when you are free from pain
Will stoop to speak a cheery word and wish you well again.

So little country hospital, which humble folks support,
Which struggles for existence, since its funds are always short,
I pay this simple tribute now to all your tender care
In lessening the hurt and pain which mortals have to bear,
And pray for God’s rich blessing on the men and women brave
Who give their every ounce of strength another’s life to save.

Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland) Oct 11, 1932

What Christmas Morning Means

December 22, 2011


Oh, I am glad to know,
Those Christmas days of long ago,
To see the candle-lighted tree
With all the pomp of mystery,
To stand before it open-eyed
As some new tinseled toy I spied.
To wake before the dawn had come
And find beside my bed a drum,
And then to rouse the house with joy
As now does many a little boy.

Those glorious Christmas days, it seems,
Have vanished in the mist of dreams,
Yet other little boys must know
The self-same charms of long ago;
But there’s no table long drawn out
For all the folks to sit about.
No shouts of glee, no welcoming smile
To those who’d driven miles and miles
To be with us and share the day —
Those good old friends were called away.

The mother smiling at the door,
Her eyes with tears just brimming o’er,
Glad tears that seemed so strange to me,
I wondered oft how they could be.
Because, till I’d grown old, I thought
That Christmas day with joy was fraught,
And didn’t understand or know
That it is touched with grief and woe,
And howsoever large the list,
There always is a loved one missed.

The gifts were simple then, but oh,
With love they set all eyes aglow!
For ivory pen or picture framed
“Just what I wanted!” each exclaimed,
“How did you guess, Aunt Jane, that I
This very thing had longed to buy?”
Love’s altar candles were aflame
As we produced our big surprise
Which brought the tears into her eyes.

But we who were the children then
Are now the women and the men;
The girls are mothers and they cry
As mothers did in days gone by,
And I have learned through changing scenes,
Just what the Christmas morning means;
I feel their kisses on my cheek,
And find it difficult to speak —
I’ve come to understand, and know
Just how they felt so long ago.

By Edgar A. Guest

Ogden Standard Examiner (Ogden, Utah) Dec 22, 1920

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Dec 22, 1921

The Golf Crow

August 20, 2011

Image from Tampa Bay News


The crow has humor. Now and then
I’m sure he laughs aloud
Seeing the foolishness of men
Who seem so very proud.

For yesterday I know that he
Gave me a hoarse guffaw
As perched upon a towering tree
My fit of rage he saw.

That inky bird with humor keen
Unquestionably hissed
Because upon the eighteenth green
A two-foot putt I missed.

I know those little beady eyes
That moment flashed with glee
As he let loose those jeering cries
To mock the pride of me.

“Haw-haw!” he shrieked, “If trifles small
Can trouble mortals so,
Give me a life ‘mid pine trees tall
I’d rather be a crow!”

(Copyright, 1931, Edgar A. Guest)

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Sep 18, 1931