A blogger shared a poem from Poet Edgar Albert Guest. As I read it it struck me that here was a poet who wrote for the common man; and he did indeed become known as the People’s Poet. Of course I’d read some of his works in the past, but for some reason they didn’t grab me as the one I read this morning has. Nor the ones I’ve read since. I would love to make an audio recording reciting some of his poems because they are still relevant today, and they roll off the tongue so beautifully. He was a Master Poet!
Here is one that instantly brought the USA to mind. It’s a scary thought, but so many in the West have indeed handed riches to their children without thought of whither those unearned riches would be a blessing or a curse. This poem sounds an alarm for us. We have become so rich and spoiled in the West that we have sent out not only our laundry but also our jobs. We’ve built-up playpens in every town and stood indignant as our strengths eroded.
Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)
|Better than land or gold or trade
Are a high ideal and a purpose true;
Better than all of the wealth we’ve made
Is the work for others that now we do.
For Rome grew rich and she turned to song
The Rome of old with its wealth and wine
They thought the joys they had won to give,
They passed to their children the hoarded gold,
They left them the wealth that their hands had won,
We must guard ourselves lest we follow Rome.
For vain are our Flag and our battles won,