How I Learned to Love Poetry
When I was a young girl I was fortunate to attend Mac-Do Lodge Camp for Girls in Delevan, Wisconsin. Minnie A. Cohen, the owner and director of our camp, always read inspirational poems during our Sunday night campfire and award ceremony.
It was those Sunday night readings that introduced me to poetry and the appreciation of the inspirational influences of poetry. The poetry that Miss Cohen read to the campers and counselors has stayed with me all my life. I took them to college; I shared them with students when I was teaching; I shared them with my husband and children; and I share them with my What Color Is Your Brain?® clients and program participants.
Last week, a camp friend requested the the words to the poem. She was able to remember a portion, but not all of it. This request encouraged my Blue Brain to share Myself with you.
“Myself” An Inspirational Poem
Myself by Edgar Guest
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 have 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 no one else will ever know the kind of person I really am,
I don’t want to dress up myself in sham. I want to go out with my head erect.
I want to deserve all men’s respect; but here in the struggle for fame and wealth I want to be able to like myself.
I don’t want to look at myself and know I am 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.
The “People’s Poet”
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.
We are living in troubling times. I hope you will find inspiration and comfort in this poem. I invite you to share this poem with others, as I have share the poem with people all over the world.
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