With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: Show and Tell Friday ~ Edgar A Guest Books

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Show and Tell Friday ~ Edgar A Guest Books

I am sharing my collection of books filled with sweet poems by the prolific
poet and journalist, Edgar A. Guest

A picture taken from the inside of one of the volumes.

Edgar A. Guest with his dog, Bismarck, in 1938

Edgar Albert Guest ( August 20, 1881, Birmingham, England - August 5, 1959, Detroit, Michigan) (aka Eddie Guest) was a prolific American poet who was popular in the first half of the 20th Century and became known as the People’s Poet.

In 1891, Guest came with his family to the United States from England. After he began at the Detroit Free Press as a copy boy and then a reporter, his first poem appeared December 11, 1898. He became a naturalized citizen in 1902. For 40 years, Guests sentimental and optimistic poems were widely read throughout North America.

From his first published work in the Detroit Free Press until his death in 1959, Guest penned some 11,000 poems which were syndicated in some 300 newspapers and collected in more than 20 books, including A Heap o' Livin' (1916) and Just Folks (1917). Guest was made Poet Laureate of Michigan, the only poet to have been awarded the title. (wikipedia)

Most of these small books have a short inscription inside the cover, lovingly given as a gift to a dear recipient.

Easy reading, full of everyday life, patriotism, being a person of character, love of family and home, God and faith. Up-lifting and encouraging, written in simple rhyme ~ old fashioned values and humble living make these poems endearing.

When you're up against a trouble,
Meet it squarely, face to face,
Lift your chin, and set your shoulders,
Plant your feet and take a brace,
When it's vain to try to dodge it,
Do the best that you can do.
You may fail, but you may conquer--
See it through!
--Excerpt from "See It Through"

So many sweet examples... here is just one:
When You Know A Fellow
Edgar A. Guest

When you get to know a fellow, know his joys and know his cares,
When you've come to understand him and the burdens that he bears,
When you've learned the fight he's making and the troubles in his way,
Then you find that he is different than you thought him yesterday.
You find his faults are trivial and there's not so much to blame
In the brother that you jeered at when you only knew his name.

You are quick to see the blemish in the distant neighbor's style,
You can point to all his errors and may sneer at him the while,
And your prejudices fatten and your hates more violent grow
As you talk about the failures of the man you do not know,
But when drawn a little closer, and your hands and shoulders touch,
You find the traits you hated really don't amount to much.

When you get to know a fellow, know his every mood and whim,
You begin to find the texture of the splendid side of him;
You begin to understand him, and you cease to scoff and sneer,
For with understanding always prejudices disappear.
You begin to find his virtues and his faults you cease to tell,
For you seldom hate a fellow when you know him very well.

When next you start in sneering and your phrases turn to blame,
Know more of him you censure than his business and his name;
For it's likely that acquaintance would your prejudice dispel
And you'd really come to like him if you knew him very well.
When you get to know a fellow and you understand his ways,
Then his faults won't really matter, for you'll find a lot to praise.

From the book "A Heap o' Livin'" ©1916

Thanking Cindy from My Romantic Home for hosting Show & Tell Friday... click button above to see more.


Claudia said...

I love Edgar Guest. I grew up in Detroit and Edgar Guest was my father's godfather! I was always so thrilled to know of their connection. Edgar Guest was very close friends with my Grandfather. I never knew him, unfortunately. His son, Bud Guest, was a long-time radio personality in Detroit, and I grew up listening to his radio show.

I have a few volumes of his poems and am always on the lookout for more.

Loved your post!

Diann @ the Thrifty Groove said...


I remember back in college working on a piece about Mr. Guest. Being from Michigan, he was always a fav of ours!
One of my favorite poems is:
It don't make a difference how rich ye get t' be'
How much yer chairs and tables cost, how great the 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.
Within the walls there's got t' be some babies born an' then...
Right there ye've got t' bring em up t' women good, an' men;
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' living in it."

This is just a little bit of the poem called
"Home," A Heap o' Livin' (1916)

Thanks for reminding me of this great writer! It's been awhile since I have read him.

Really Rainey said...

Great post... and those books look very special!
Have a wonderful week end!
~Really Rainey~

Hootin' Anni said...

Beautiful!!! I love this sharing you've posted this week. I love poetry. And I LOVE! books.

My show n tell this week is glass, glass antiques. A couple of them. Come by if you can. Have a glorious weekend. Click Here

Mildred said...

What a lovely collection of books. I have always loved his works. Thank you for sharing the excerpts above. Blessings to you this weekend.

The Watts Family said...

Oh I enjoy his poems. That is a wonderful collection of books that you have thanks for sharing ~Blessings Heather ;D

Christy said...

I love his "It Couldn't Be Done" poem.
Do you know that one?

Janice said...

I've never heard of this poet, seems like a very American kind of guy. Thanks for sharing.

Leann said...

What a beautiful collection. I've never heard of Mr Guest, but the poem that you've shared is wonderful. I may have to pay a visit to our library.

Thanks for sharing and thanks stopping by and for promoting our giveaway! Good Luck!

Lisa said...

What a great collection of books you have! Thanks for sharing.

Rosie@Journey to Charm said...

I'd never heard of him. Thank you for sharing one of his poems with us. It is very lovely. I enjoyed it.

Miss Jen said...

Wonderful~ Thank you for sharing~ dear Mrs.H!
I will have to put these on my 'to-read' list!!!
Aren't old books scrumptious?! The
bindings are amazing!!!! :)

Love & Blessings~ Miss Jen

Gattina said...

I learned again something more ! I don't know this writer at all. Maybe he was only published in English and not translated into other languages.

Mrs Twins said...

What an interesting post! Thanks so much for sharing. YOu do have beautiful girls!! My twin daughters are 23 such a pleasure. We do have twins in common. Guess what something else? I live in Birmingham England! Strange. I have to admit I haven't even heard of him, but I will definitely be checking his work out now.Thank you.....Hugs and Love Suex
Please stop by again whenever you can!
Hugs and Love Sue (Mrs Twins).x !

Senkyoushi said...

What a treasure! I love old books. I enjoyed your post. Thanks for stopping by and visiting me.

nannykim said...

I have never had a book with just his poems, but I have an old book of poetry somewhere (hmm, I may have given it to my daughter) that I think has some of his poems. Thanks for gving some background about him!

A Little Of This And That said...

As a lover of words, I especially enjoyed your show and tell. And thanks for stopping by my blog and for your generous comment.

Michelle Palmer said...

Beautiful... thank you for sharing~ I had never heard of his work. Lovely!
Hope your week is wonderful~

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

What a lot of work it must have taken to share all of that! Thank you! I love the poem - so true and we so often forget it. Thank you twice! :)

Diane said...

Lori, what treasures! I love poetry like this - everyone can understand it and relate. One doesn't have to sit and take it apart because it's so "high in the sky" with flowery phrases that one needs Literature 101 to figure it out.
it's real. Thank you!

crochet lady said...

Thanks for sharing those treasured gems.

marie said...

I grew up and Detroit and remember reading from (and enjoying) the Poems of Patriotism in high school.
What a wonderful collection of books you have!

daylily777 said...

Great collection !;~) I read Guest in my Ideals Magazines. His poems are used often in the magazine I love to read his poetry.Thanks for sharing & thanks for stopping by.

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

What a great post! His poems seem like they could have been written today! There's something about those photos of him that makes him so likeable! It must be his eyes!!!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I enjoyed looking at your pretty blog and this post really caught my eye! Guest is one of my Mom's favorite poets. It was interesting to learn more about him and see your wonderful collection.

I've also been married 35 years ...we celebrated in October :-)

Hugs, Pat


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