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My Creed
Edgar Guest


To live as gently as I can;
To be, no matter where, a man;
To take what comes of good or ill
And cling to faith and honor still;
To do my best, and let that stand
The record of my brain and hand;
And then, should failure come to me,
Still work and hope for victory.

To have no secret place wherein
I stoop unseen to shame or sin;
To be the same when I'm alone
As when my every deed is known;
To live undaunted, unafraid
Of any step that I have made;
To be without pretense or sham
Exactly what men think I am.

To leave some simple mark behind
To keep my having lived in mind;
If enmity to aught I show,
To be an honest, generous foe,
To play my little part, nor whine
That greater honors are not mine.
This, I believe, is all I need
For my philosophy and creed.

This poem is in the public domain.

Edgar Guest (1881 - 1959)  was born in England,  but moved with his family to Detroit, Michigan, when he was ten years old. He worked for more than sixty years at the Detroit Free Press, publishing his first poem at the age of seventeen, then going on to become a reporter and columnist whose work was featured in hundreds of newspapers around the country. Edgar is said to have written some 11,000 poems during his lifetime, most of it sentimental, short, upbeat verse. Critics often derided his work, but America adored him. He was known as the "People's Poet," served as Michigan's poet laureate, hosted a long-running radio show and TV show, and published more than twenty books.








Post New Comment:
Some great goals to work toward, though I will probably never fully reach most of them.
Posted 01/06/2024 01:21 PM
Larry Schug:
High standards yet yet yet oh so hard to attain. The mark he left behind is not simple.
Posted 01/02/2024 02:36 PM
People who don't respect and LOVE rhyme and meter should read his poems. Profound wisdom too!
Posted 01/02/2024 02:20 PM
Edgar has always been my favorite poet ever since I read his poems in the Detroit papers in my youth.
Posted 01/02/2024 01:05 PM
Excellent advice all around! Thank you, Jayne!
Posted 01/02/2024 12:36 PM
. . . Obviously written before being a man had todays political overtones.
Posted 01/02/2024 11:50 AM
Wilda Morris:
Wise! I agree with David. If we all tried to live this way, there would be less violence and animosity in the world.
Posted 01/02/2024 11:22 AM
Marvelously understated poem.
Posted 01/02/2024 10:44 AM
Darrell Arnold:
This uncommonly gifted poet was also a good and wise man. It would have been a blessing to know him.
Posted 01/02/2024 09:47 AM
And a good creed it is. I particularly like the lines To play my little part, nor whine That greater honors are not mine. If we all play our little parts well ,we can make big things happen.
Posted 01/02/2024 09:00 AM

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