Sunday, October 23, 2011

Poem #24- Edgar Guest (1881-1959)

I'm not if I was assigned this to memorize in school, or if it was just a rare personal project. Anyways, this was a powerful piece of verse in my school years. I often thought of it when faced with compromising decisions. (I know, I know- it would be more spiritual if a Bible verse had come to mind instead, but it worked ;o) Guest became the Poet Laureate of the State of Michigan after the British-born poet became one of the most famous naturalized citizens of his time. 11,000 published poems! Scary prolific!


I have to live with myself, and so,
I want to be fit for myself to know;
I want to be able as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don't want to stand with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things I've done.
I don't want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself as I come and go
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of man I really am;
I don't want to dress myself up in sham.
I want to deserve all men's respect;
But here in this struggle for fame and pelf,
I want to be able to like myself.
I don't want to think as I come and go
That I'm for bluster and bluff and empty show.
I never can hide myself from me,
I see what others may never see,
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself -- and so,
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.

1 comment:

Making Memories 1999 said...

I'm "joining" your 30 Days of Poetry late, but enjoying them, none the less. Some good thought-food here! =) Thank you for doing this!!