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Poetry: Edgar A. Guest

DigiTrad:
DECK OF CARDS
RINDERCELLA
STORY OF PETEY, THE SNAKE
THE PEE LITTLE THRIGS


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Jerry Rasmussen 27 Aug 06 - 08:40 PM
Peace 27 Aug 06 - 08:43 PM
Bill D 27 Aug 06 - 09:16 PM
Bill D 27 Aug 06 - 09:19 PM
Peace 27 Aug 06 - 09:21 PM
Bill D 27 Aug 06 - 09:39 PM
282RA 27 Aug 06 - 09:48 PM
Amos 27 Aug 06 - 09:52 PM
282RA 27 Aug 06 - 09:59 PM
Bill D 27 Aug 06 - 09:59 PM
282RA 27 Aug 06 - 10:07 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Aug 06 - 10:10 PM
Bill D 27 Aug 06 - 10:19 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 27 Aug 06 - 10:20 PM
katlaughing 27 Aug 06 - 11:05 PM
Ferrara 27 Aug 06 - 11:17 PM
Joe Offer 27 Aug 06 - 11:50 PM
Peace 27 Aug 06 - 11:53 PM
Peace 28 Aug 06 - 12:07 AM
catspaw49 28 Aug 06 - 07:59 AM
M.Ted 28 Aug 06 - 10:52 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 29 Aug 06 - 06:28 AM
Rapparee 29 Aug 06 - 09:46 AM
M.Ted 29 Aug 06 - 10:29 AM
emjay 29 Aug 06 - 04:31 PM
clueless don 30 Aug 06 - 08:54 AM
Bill D 30 Aug 06 - 12:52 PM
ClaireBear 30 Aug 06 - 01:14 PM
nutty 30 Aug 06 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Writer2 30 Aug 06 - 04:40 PM
Ferrara 30 Aug 06 - 10:42 PM
catspaw49 30 Aug 06 - 11:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Oct 06 - 11:18 AM
ClaireBear 29 Nov 06 - 02:06 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 Nov 06 - 10:19 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 Nov 06 - 04:25 PM
Joe_F 29 Nov 06 - 08:40 PM
GUEST,Johnie 05 Feb 10 - 11:45 AM
Amos 05 Feb 10 - 01:08 PM
Art Thieme 05 Feb 10 - 02:02 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Feb 10 - 04:32 PM
Artful Codger 07 Feb 10 - 07:14 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Feb 10 - 03:42 PM
Bill D 08 Feb 10 - 04:03 PM
Amos 08 Feb 10 - 04:54 PM
Artful Codger 08 Feb 10 - 07:47 PM
GUEST,Sr. Anne Marie 01 Nov 10 - 09:41 AM
Jean(eanjay) 01 Nov 10 - 09:46 AM
Jean(eanjay) 01 Nov 10 - 09:49 AM
olddude 01 Nov 10 - 09:49 AM
Lonesome EJ 01 Nov 10 - 11:57 AM
Lonesome EJ 01 Nov 10 - 12:04 PM
Artful Codger 01 Nov 10 - 04:35 PM
Charley Noble 01 Nov 10 - 10:02 PM
GUEST,me 14 Dec 10 - 08:47 PM
Barbara 15 Dec 10 - 01:17 AM
GUEST,Edgar's brother 15 Dec 10 - 08:22 AM
Joe_F 15 Dec 10 - 09:05 PM
clueless don 04 Nov 11 - 10:30 AM
olddude 04 Nov 11 - 11:13 AM
Charley Noble 04 Nov 11 - 11:14 AM
Barbara 22 Jan 12 - 02:34 PM
Joe Offer 23 Jan 12 - 12:37 AM
meself 23 Jan 12 - 11:01 AM
Joe_F 23 Jan 12 - 06:22 PM
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Subject: BS: Edward A. Guest
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 08:40 PM

In the early 1900's there was a very popular poet named Edward A. Guest (I think.) He was to poetry what That Kinkaid painter is to popular art, these days. One of Guest's most famous poems was It Takes A Heap Of Livin' To Make A House A Home. Or, at least that's the first line as best I can remember it. We had a framed copy of the poem next to our front door, just as you stepped into the dining room. Right next to the ice box. I've been snooping around on the internet and haven't found anything about him. I'd like to get the words to the poem for something I am writing about my Mother.

I figure all you literary types could help me on this one.

If so, I sure would appreciate it.

Jerry

Back to searching


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Subject: ADD: Home (Edgar A. Guest) - poetry
From: Peace
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 08:43 PM

Home
(Edgar Guest)

It takes a heap o' livin' in a house t' make it home,
A heap o' sun an' shadder, an' ye sometimes have t' roam
Afore ye really 'preciate the things ye lef' behind,
An' hunger fer 'em somehow, with 'em allus on yer mind.
It don't make any differunce how rich ye get t' be,
How much yer chairs an' tables cost, how great yer luxury;
I 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 thumb marks 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;
An' in the stillness o' the night t' see Death's angel come,
An' close the eyes o' her that smiled,
an' leave her sweet voice dumb.
Fer these are scenes that grip the heart,
an' when yer tears are dried,
Ye find the home is dearer than it was, an' sanctified;
An' tuggin' at ye always are the pleasant memories
O' her that was an' is no more -- ye can't escape from these.

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 o' ye, suggestin' someone dear
Who used t' love 'em long ago, an' trained 'em jes' t' run
The way they do, so's they would get the early mornin' sun;
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.

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


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Subject: RE: BS: Edward A. Guest
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 09:16 PM

somewhere in the catacombs, I have that very book....I read it as a child of 8-10, and thought it was wonderful...until I looked again at about age 18. Then I almost ignored it as 'silly' until I was past 40. Now I again see the wisdom in much of it.

(One poem I remember was "When Father Shook the Stove")


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Subject: RE: BS: Edward A. Guest
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 09:19 PM

(Dorothy Parker made him famous by her little couplet:

"I'd rather flunk my Wasserman test
Than read a poem by Edgar Guest"


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Subject: RE: BS: Edward A. Guest
From: Peace
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 09:21 PM

Dorothy who?


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Subject: RE: BS: Edward A. Guest
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 09:39 PM

Parker...PARKER...they named a funny biscuit after her.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edward A. Guest
From: 282RA
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 09:48 PM

Didn't he write "The Face on the Barroom Floor"? (which was my face the other night until a buddy helped me up)

And wasn't he from Detroit?


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Subject: RE: BS: Edward A. Guest
From: Amos
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 09:52 PM

When You Know A Fellow

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.



Wal, he's pretty corny, all right...


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Edward A. Guest
From: 282RA
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 09:59 PM

Well, I just did a check (ain't the internet wonderful?) and found out "The Face on the Barroom Floor" was written by Hugh Antoine D'Arcy in 1887.

But did Guest did write "Castor Oil"--I remember that from when I was a kid.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edward A. Guest
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 09:59 PM

A picture of Guest and his tribute to James Whitcomb Riley

yep, corny...but friendly. Would that all Guests be as nice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edward A. Guest
From: 282RA
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 10:07 PM

According to Wikipedia, Guest was born in England but emigrated to the US and began writing for the Detroit Free Press. He lived in Detroit the rest of his life, I guess, and died here in 1959, meaning my life and his managed to overlap just a bit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edward A. Guest
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 10:10 PM

Well, Golly Shucks and all them Bobertisms. You folks is sure smart. Thanks fer all the answers. In the north we say fer, for fir.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Edward A. Guest
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 10:19 PM

In the south we fear the fer for fir, so we fare no further.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edward A. Guest
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 10:20 PM

When I first found Mudcat, I used to sign in as "GUEST, EDGAR A."

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Edward A. Guest
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 11:05 PM

LOL, Art!

BillD, I was going to say that first poem of his sounded like a take on Riley. Thanks for the link.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edward A. Guest
From: Ferrara
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 11:17 PM

My folks had his book "Just Folks." I loved it. It was a tiny little thing. Have no idea where it disappeared to.

Project Gutenberg has the following links on their list of "G" authors :

Guest, Edgar A. (Edgar Albert), 1881-1959

    * Wikipedia
    * A Heap O' Livin' (English)
    * Just Folks (English)
    * Making the House a Home (English)
    * Over Here (English)
    * When Day is Done (English)


One of his most famous poems, which I think was in the Just Folks books, was
It Couldn't Be Done

As I say, I liked his stuff a lot when I read it but perhaps wouldn't like it quite so well now. :-) Bill is fond of quoting another bit of doggerel about Guest:

Edgar A. Guest
Was never at his best.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edgar A. Guest
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 11:50 PM

It seemed the only poet my dad liked was Edgar A. Guest, who lived a few streets over from Dad's boyhood home in Detroit. When I was young, I used to think Guest's poetry was incredibly corny, and I used to tease my dad about him. I got into trouble for that more than once, because I was a pretty merciless tease. I looked at a book of Edgar A. Guest's poetry recently, and I was surprised that I liked it. I hated myself for that, I'll tell ya.

I thought there was a connection between Edgar A. Guest and WJR, the clear channel, 50,000 watt radio station in Detroit. Turns out I was right - Edgar A. Guest recided poetry on the station's first broadcast; and his son, "Bud" Guest, was host of the Guest House radio program on WJR, which was enormously popular in Detroit at one time.

-Joe Offer-
Here's a bio of Edgar A. Guest from the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame:
    Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959) was born in Birmingham, England, and brought to the U.S. by his father in 1891. He began as an office boy for the Detroit Free Press in 1895 - the start of an affiliation that would span almost 65 years. In 1898, a temporary assignment on the exchange desk, where filler verse and feature items were clipped for reprinting, led Guest to submit a few poems of his poems of his own to the Sunday editor. Soon he had a weekly column of verse and observations called "Blue Monday Chat," followed by a daily column, "Breakfast Table Chat." By 1908, "The Poet of the People" was working almost exclusively in meter and rhyme. Guest's popularity spread like wildfire among Free Press readers who asked for collections of his folksy verses. He authored 20 such books and for more than 30 years there wasn't a Free Press that didn't carry his verse. His work eventually was syndicated in more than 100 newspapers. The recipient of the Free Press' Golden Keystone and Silver Keystone awards, Guest was also honored by a Detroit school and a Boys Club of Detroit building, which carry his name. As a civic leader, he received numerous awards, including honorary degrees from Wayne State University in 1936 and Michigan.

Wikipedia has some information on Clear Channel stations here (click), including a list of them. Many of these stations go way beck to be beginning of the history of radio braodcasting. I had an old Crosley radio that had the Clear Channel stations marked. When I was about ten, I spent many late-night hours listening to these stations and making a list of all the stations I found. WABC (click) has some great information about its history as a Clear Channel station. Don't confuse "Clear Channel stations" with "Clear Channel Communications", the largest radio company operating in the United States, based in San Antonio, Texas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edgar A. Guest
From: Peace
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 11:53 PM

If we threw the corn out of poetry and folk music, it would leave drab and dreary voids where used to laught those who are enjoying childhoof for the first, second, third times. There's corn and then there's Lear. Let's not confuse the two.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edgar A. Guest
From: Peace
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 12:07 AM

Wait. Lear was already confused. Let me paraphrase that. "Pass the mustard, please."


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Subject: RE: BS: Edgar A. Guest
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 07:59 AM

Sorry but I agree with the wonderfully cynical Mrs. Parker. Guest was a dweeb. I have always found Dorothy's words so meaningful as in this famous Parkerism..."Brevity is the soul of lingerie."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Edgar A. Guest
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 10:52 PM

"Bud" Guest cut his own niche with his daily program, "News from the Sunny Side of the Street" which consisted of amusing annecdotes and local color submitted by listeners and retold by Bud in a folksy, back porch style--the sort of thing that Garrison Keilor parodied so well in his "News from Lake Woebegon"--

As to "The Face on the Barroom Floor", it was not written by D'Arcy, it was written by one John Henry Titus, as the fifth Canto of his larger work, "An Ideal Soul", first published in 1872. There are a couple threads about it around here somewhere.
    I moved all the "face" posts here (click). It was just too confusing to mix the two discussions.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Edgar A. Guest
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 06:28 AM

Our local newspaper printed a poem of Guest's every week, so he was a well-known if invisible figure to me while I was growing up. As a child I always used to enjoy reading his work. This is not meant to sound patronising - my young mind did get something out of it and it taught me a familiarity with the disciplines of meter and rhyme, which made me try my own hand at it. It was good mental growth and a valuable influence if not great literature.

Brilliant link, Bill D! I've just joined that poetry website, so thanks to ya for that -


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Subject: RE: BS: Edgar A. Guest
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 09:46 AM

I enjoyed the parody "Mad Magazine" did of "The Face" back in the '50s or early '60s. I also enjoy "It takes a heap o' heapin' to make a heap o' heap" (on the "Gate of Horn" recording by Gibson & Camp).

Lots of poets -- perhaps all at one time or another -- are corny. But there is still Truth therein, no matter how badly expressed, and if someone is touched by Julia A. Moore's "Croquet by Moonlight" or William Topaz McGonagall's "Crucifixion of Christ," who am I to judge?


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Subject: RE: BS: Edgar A. Guest
From: M.Ted
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 10:29 AM

Guest was a newspaper reporter for a number of years before he began writing poetry, so one tends to suspect that he wrote what he wrote because it sold newspapers.

Titus, on the other hand, believed that he was a truely great poet. He was a religious reformer who was affiliated with Father Divine in his later years, and a rather dramatic spokesman for the Temperance Movement--

In 1937, Time Magazine reported that he appeared in a saloon in Lakehurst, N.J. with a kerosene-soaked rag stuffed in his shoe to repel mosquitoes, whereupon he fell to one knee and recited his famous poem--he was 91 at the time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edgar A. Guest
From: emjay
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 04:31 PM

Edgar A. Guest, and he was a favorite of my mother, too, may have written corny stuff, but he wrote it well, for crying out loud. Those of you who accuse him of writing corn -- have you ever read badly written corn? That can be so bad it is painful to read. And the author usually hands it to you to read, and waits with expectant smile, for your comments. I usually say something lame if insincere, because I know they don't want my opinion, they want praise.
I can't remember anything in particular about Bud Guest's radio programs but I do remember enjoying them.
mj


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: clueless don
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 08:54 AM

Bill D wrote

Parker...PARKER...they named a funny biscuit after her.

Bill, are you talking about the House Rolls?

Don


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 12:52 PM

*grin*....veddy astute, don...

"at a masquerade ball, dressed in nothing at all,
she backed in as a Parker House Roll"

(so...it's a stretch)


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: ClaireBear
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 01:14 PM

My father used to recite a shorter, possibly more realistic version of "It Couldn't Be Done":

They told him that it couldn't be done,
But he said, "Lead me to it!"
Then he tackled that thing that couldn't be done
And found that he couldn't do it.

(He also recited

I shot an arrow in the air,
It fell to earth I know not where.
I lose more damned arrows that way!

...but that's another story.)

Claire


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: nutty
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 03:23 PM

269 of Guest's poems can be found here on the 'Old Poetry' site

Edgar Albert Guest's Poetry


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Subject: A Tool for Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: GUEST,Writer2
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 04:40 PM

I have a typewriter that I have been told was used by Edward Guest. We are cleaning out the basement and would like to sell it. It is not in mint condition, but I am sure that you could clean it up if you are the right kind of poet.

I always meant to get it in working order, but will probably never have the time.

It has a side-swiping type of action and rather grungy looking white keys. I could take a picture and send it to someone who is seriously interested.


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Ferrara
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 10:42 PM

Well, Bill managed to locate both his old copy of "A Heap o' Livin'" and my copy of "Just Folks." Amazing. Luckily they both survived the June 28 basement flood. .... Now let's hope the remaining stuff in the basement survives whatever the weather dumps on the D.C. area tonight!


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 11:38 PM

I'm sorry to hear it survived Rita......***sigh***.......Now if it had been some Dorothy Parker writings, that would have been different!

I think she let Guest off lightly. She routinely sliced and diced Milne. When her column under the name "Constant Reader" reviewd Milne's "Pooh" she wrote, "Tonstant Weeder thwowed up." It was indeed of Milne's work that she quipped one of her most notorious, "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Oct 06 - 11:18 AM

Sinclair Lewis took some wonderful digs at him in his novel Babbitt. I've been rereading it lately, and the type is crystal clear, in this description (I looked for a bit from the dinner party chapter where he is introduced. His name is "Cholmondeley," pronounced "Chumley" and through the novel he's referred to as "Chum Frink."

I picked this up at Bartleby, it's in the public domain (and it is a wonderful novel).

Babbitt


    But, naturally, the most distinguished of all was T. Cholmondeley Frink, who was not only the author of "Poemulations," which, syndicated daily in sixty-seven leading newspapers, gave him one of the largest audiences of any poet in the world, but also an optimistic lecturer and the creator of "Ads that Add." Despite the searching philosophy and high morality of his verses, they were humorous and easily understood by any child of twelve; and it added a neat air of pleasantry to them that they were set not as verse but as prose. Mr. Frink was known from Coast to Coast as "Chum."


This is a chunk of paragraph 73.

SRS


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Subject: ADD: The Old, Old Story (Edgar A. Guest)
From: ClaireBear
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 02:06 AM

Very kind of the spammers to refresh this thread just after I located an entire volume of Guest's poetry at a book sale, thus providing the perfect opportunity for me to post this gem for you:

The Old, Old Story
(Edgar A. Guest)

I have no wish to rail at fate,
And vow that I'm unfairly treated;
I do not give vent to my hate
Because at times I am defeated.
Life has its ups and downs, I know,
But tell me why should people say,
Whenever after fish I go:
"You should have been here yesterday"?

It is my luck always to strike
A day when there is nothing doing,
When neither perch, nor bass, nor pike
My baited hooks will come a-wooing.
Must I a day late always be?
When not a nibble comes my way
Must someone always say to me:
"We caught a bunch here yesterday."

I am not prone to discontent,
Nor over-zealous now to climb;
If victory is not yet meant
For me I'll calmly bide my time.
But I should like just once to go
Out fishing on some lake or bay
And not have someone mutter: "Oh,
You should have been here yesterday."


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 10:19 AM

I was really annoyed that a spammer would choose this thread to trash, because it has been a charming little bit of scholarship. (That's why I didn't let up on Joe when he protested over in the Help forum). ;-D

SRS
    My Dad wouldn't allow me to allow an Edgar Guest thread to remain trashed, since he and Edgar lived in the same neighborhood in Detroit (although not at the same time, I think). Are you my Dad, SRS? Or in cahoots with him?
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 04:25 PM

Naw, and in fact, having posted that wickedly funny Sinclair Lewis/Babbitt quote, I'm probably not a fan--having not read much of his work. But I am interested in the popular culture aspects of this Everyman of poetry.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Joe_F
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 08:40 PM

Ogden Nash also made fun of him, in a poem titled "Lines to a World-Famous Poet Who Failed to Complete a World-Famous Poem, or, Come Clean, Mr. Guest!":

Oft when I'm sitting without anything to read waiting for a train in a depot,
I torment myself with the poet's dictum that to make a house a home, livin' is what it takes a heap o'.

. . .

A philosophical poet should be specific
As well as prolific,
And I trust I am not being offensive
If I suggest that he should also be comprehensive.
You may if you like verify my next statement by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to either Dean Inge or Dean Gauss,
But meanwhile I ask you to believe that it takes a heap of other things besides a heap o' livin' to make a home out of a house.
To begin with, it takes a heap of payin',
And you don't pay just the oncet, but agayin and agayin and agayin.

. . .

In a word, Macushla,
There's a scad o' things that to make a house a home it takes not only a heap, or a peck, but at least a bushela.

*
Round about 1960, I read a vulgar reactionary newspaper column by the vulgar reactionary newspaper columnist Westbrook Pegler, protesting against some sort of honor that the U.S. Government had just bestowed on Robert Frost. If they wanted to honor a real American poet, he asked, what about Edgar A. Guest?


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: GUEST,Johnie
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 11:45 AM

I appreciated finding this exchange. I used to read poems by Guest weekly in the Cleveland (Texas) Advocate when I was about 14 years old. I memorized many of his poems and still recite a few from time to time. I liked them then and still do. They contain a lot of folksy wisdom. two favorites are "I have to Live With Myself" and "Women's Shoes". I haven't been able to find this latter one online and would like to to relearn the lines missing from my memory.


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Amos
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 01:08 PM

I want to be able as days go by,
always to look myself straight in the eye;


This is the kind of line--strong on nebulous sentimental spurting, but weak on clear thought, mediocre in grammatical nuance, and shatteringly unoriginal in concept--for which Guest was renowned. To that list, in this case, we might add anatomically confused.

I do not see how it can be defended that "he wrote corn, but wrote it well". No question some have written worse, but that is a piss-poor criterion to use in seeking quality.


A


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 02:02 PM

I think that I will never see
A poem as bad as Kilmer's Trees.
So here I leave the rhyme scheme of that horrid verse
With hopes that never e'er shall I be known to write
A poem that's any worse.

by Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 04:32 PM

You're good, Art!


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Subject: A passing thought on Kilmer's "Trees"
From: Artful Codger
Date: 07 Feb 10 - 07:14 PM

I wonder just how many trees
Were felled so cheap anthologies
Could serve up Kilmer's lesser art
To kids who couldn't give a fig.
Does no one see the irony:
To desecrate a stately tree
So minor poets can extoll
Its virtues on its pulpèd bole?

If, by misfortune, one should see
A poem like "Trees", sing-song and twee,
Please, shred the pap and then re-pulp it--
Or, better: pulverize the culprit.

Ecologically yours...


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 03:42 PM

E. Guest was well known when I was a wee kid, and was well liked by lots of people.

I do recall, when I was about 9 y.o., that a teacher suggested that I "might be able to find better poets to quote," and it became clear as time passed that he was not considered an "intellectually challenging" writer.

That may have accounted for his wide popularity.

I once had a "Collected Works of ..." that may still be in the book collection we recently moved; but I'm sure it's somewhere in an unidentifiable box among about 8 or 12 thousand pounds of identically indistinguishable boxes in the back storage shed - if it survived.

John


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 04:03 PM

someone wrote:

"Edgar A. Guest
Was never at his best."


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Amos
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 04:54 PM

Nice job, A> Codger!!

Q


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Artful Codger
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 07:47 PM

Thank you, but hardly a challenge. As Lewis Carroll put it:
In an age of imitation, I can claim no special merit at this slight attempt at doing what is known to be so easy. Any fairly practiced writer, with the slightest ear for rhythm, could compose, for hours together, in the easy running metre of "The Song of Hiawatha".

And so it is with Kilmer and Guest.

But then, I have a weakness for the cowboy poets, who were often equally saccharine and facile. To each his own poison.


Bill D: Already quoted above by Ferrara, thanks.


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: GUEST,Sr. Anne Marie
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 09:41 AM

Does anyone have or remember a poem with the words:

" . . . Jenny kissed me"

It went something like (not rhymed by me)

Say I'm old & uninteresting,
Say I'm . . . .
But just remember that once,
Jenny kissed me.

My version above is a terrible analogy, but I can't remember the exact words.

I believe it was by Edgar A. Guest, but I'm not sure.


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 09:46 AM

Jenny Kiss'd Me
Leigh Hunt

Jenny kiss'd me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kiss'd me.

I've always loved that poem; I have it in "The Oxford Book of English Verse".


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 09:49 AM

The poet's full name is James Henry Leigh Hunt.


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: olddude
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 09:49 AM

When Sorrow Comes
Edgar Guest

When sorrow comes, as come it must,
In God a man must place his trust.
There is no power in mortal speech
The anguish of his soul to reach,
No voice, however sweet and low,
Can comfort him or ease the blow.

He cannot from his fellow men
Take strength that will sustain him then.
With all that kindly hands will do,
And all that love may offer, too,
He must believe throughout the test
That God has willed it for the best.

We who would be his friends are dumb;
Words from our lips but feebly come;
We feel, as we extend our hands,
That one Power only understands
And truly knows the reason why
So beautiful a soul must die.

We realize how helpless then
Are all the gifts of mortal men.
No words which we have power to say
Can take the sting of grief away -
That Power which marks the sparrow's fall
Must comfort and sustain us all.

When sorrow comes, as come it must,
In God, a man must place his trust.
With all the wealth which he may own,
He cannot meet the test alone,
And only he may stand serene
Who has a faith on which to lean.


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 11:57 AM

Once upon a time I was a young long-haired English Major and I cared about ee cummings and TS Elliott and John Donne and disdained the lowly sentimentalist stuff of Edgar Guest. He was mentioned among my professors and peers only in the context of a perfect example of lame, sentimentalist doggerel. But I believe that in aging we become more attracted to the warmth of the low-burning bed of autumn embers than the excitement of the summer bonfire, an analogy that Mr Guest might have found enticing.
Anyhow, I have enjoyed reading the pieces by him in this thread, and regret somewhat my youthful callousness.


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 12:04 PM

Just a further note on sentimental poetry. We revolutionaries of 68 were selective in our disdain. I can well remember that the following poem was quite popular among the lit students at U of L. Perhaps because it was Yeats, we allowed ourselves to admire it.

WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep   
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,   
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look   
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;   

How many loved your moments of glad grace,         
And loved your beauty with love false or true;   
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,   
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.   

And bending down beside the glowing bars,   
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled   
And paced upon the mountains overhead,   
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Artful Codger
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 04:35 PM

Don't forget "Desiderata": you couldn't turn round without finding it posted up somewhere. Now there's a poem to trigger a gurp (brief intestinal backwash). And even amidst all the psychodelia, acid rock and free love there were silly love songs more candy-coated than jawbreakers. Same as it ever was.


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 10:02 PM

There are some 1017 poems by Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959) posted on the Oldpoetry Website: Click here for website

Feel free to sift through them all!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: GUEST,me
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 08:47 PM

what is the rhyme scheme for the poem it couldnt be done by edgar guest???


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Barbara
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 01:17 AM

Housecleaning this week, I came across an eight volume bound set of E. A. Guest. No idea how it came to be mine. Parents' stuff, or grandparents maybe? I grew up in Detroit so that may be why. Any of you brave souls out there want it?
PM me. If by any chance it actually proves popular, I'll put it in the Mudcat auction -- if we still have one.
Blessings,
Barbar


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: GUEST,Edgar's brother
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 08:22 AM

Somebody told us "Yes, we can!
For ev'ry kid a candy!"
When failing, manya congressman
to take the blame comes handy.


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Joe_F
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 09:05 PM

Lonesome EJ: Being unfamiliar with the sentiment (love), I didn't recognize the poem to be sentimental. I think it's beautiful, tho, especially the last line.

*

Guest,me: ABABCDCD?


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: clueless don
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 10:30 AM

I have a definite memory of a poem that appeared in Mad Magazine (almost certainly in the 1960s). It was either a parody of, or a tribute to, the Edgar Guest poem "It Couldn't be Done". All I remember (and even that memory is shaky) is that it ended:

I started to sing
as I tackled the thing
that couldn't be done.
AND I DONE IT!

They went on to say something along the lines of "So, what did you think? That we would go for the obvious gag line where the guy wouldn't be able to do it?"

Anyone else remember anything about it?

Don


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: olddude
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 11:13 AM

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're truding seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit --
Rest if you must, but don't you quit!

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a person turns about
When they might have won had they stuck it out,
Don't give up though the pace seems slow --
You may succeed with another blow,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victors cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown!

Success is failure turned inside out!
So stick to the fight when you are hardest hit!
Its when things seem worst that you mustn't quit!

written by
Edgar A. Guest
(1881-1959)


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 11:14 AM

Here's an update of the link to the Allpoetry site that has over a 1000 poems posted for Mr. Guest: Click here for website!

Once you are there, do a search for "Guest."

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Barbara
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 02:34 PM

Here's a bit of satire/commentary on Guest's style by, I believe, EB and/or Katherine White.

Lines to a World-Famous Poet Who Failed To Complete a World-Famous Poem; or, Come Clean, Mr. Guest!

Oft when I'm sitting without anything to read waiting for a train in a
depot,
I torment myself with the poet's dictum that to make a house a home,
livin' is what it takes a heap o'.
Now, I myself should very much enjoy makin' my house a home, but
my brain keeps on a-goin' clickety-click, clickety-click, clickety-click,
If Peter Piper picked a peck o' heap o' livin', what kind of a peck o' heap
o' livin' would Peter Piper pick?
Certainly a person doesn't need the brains of a Lincoln
To know that there are many kinds o' livin', just as there many kinds o'
dancin' or huntin' or fishin' or eatin' or drinkin'.
A philosophical poet should be specific
As well as prolific,
And I trust I am not being offensive
If I suggest that he should also be comprehensive.
You may if you like verify my next statement by sending a stamped, self-
addressed envelope to either Dean Inge or Dean Gauss,
But meanwhile I ask you to believe that it takes a heap of other things
besides a heap o' livin' to make a home out of a house.
To begin with, it takes a heap o' payin',
And you don't pay just the oncet, but agayin and agayin and agayin.
Buyin' a stock is called speculatin' and buyin' a house is called investin',
But the value of the stock or of the house fluctuates up and down,
generally down, just as an irresponsible Destiny may destine.
Something else that your house takes a heap o', whether the builder came
from Sicily or Erin,
Is repairin',
In addition to which, gentle reader, I am sorry to say you are little more
than an imbecile or a cretin
If you think it doesn't take a heap o' heatin',
And unless you're spiritually allied to the little Dutch boy who went
around inspectin' dikes lookin' for leaks to put his thumb in,
It takes a heap o' plumbin',
And if it's a house that you're hopin' to spend not just today but
tomorrow in,
It takes a heap o' borrowin'
In a word, Macushla,
There's a scad o' things that to make a house a home it takes not only a
heap, or a peck, but at least a bushela.


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 12:37 AM

Hi, Barbara -

I think I've seen that before. I googled it today, and sources attribute it to Ogden Nash.
Example here (click)

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: meself
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 11:01 AM

You may have seen some of it before - fifty posts or so up the thread ....

-------------

As for Dorothy Parker, she came up with some great quips and one-liners - although, contrary to popular belief, not all of them were great - and was a top-notch writer of short stories - but her poetry? From what I've seen of it, it doesn't have a whole lot on that of Guest.


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Subject: RE: Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
From: Joe_F
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 06:22 PM

youself: Right. %^)

-----

Dorothy Parker is said to have written in the guest book of Hearst's castle at San Simeon:

Upon my honor,
I saw a Madonna
Standing in a niche
Above the door
Of the private whore
Of the world's worst son of a bitch.

I also rather like

The days will rally, wreathing
Their crazy tarantelle;
And you must go on breathing,
But I'll be safe in hell....


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