News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

Mike Lunsford

March 7, 2011

The office boy who became a poet

TERRE HAUTE — I made up my mind when I moved my home office out of the house last summer that I’d organize some of my books, that I’d categorize and catalogue them in a way that would help me find the one I wanted when I wanted it. I can’t say it worked out as well as I had hoped. Already, I have the overflow stacked on the floor and shoved into the spaces where previous tenants once lived. Gradually, expediency is replacing order, so fiction and non-fiction, biographies and novels, are scandalously co-mingling on my shelves.

I did, however, manage to reserve spots closest to my desk for the books that are the closest to me in other ways, and I doubt if they’re going to be reshuffled much over the years. Nearly a dozen of them are by Edgar Guest, the Everyman poet of whom most of us breathing these days have never heard. But for much of the last century, Guest was a household name, a man who published more than 20 books of poetry, had a long-running radio show and who appeared on television. He also attracted critics who considered his folksiness and humor as overly sentimental and hackneyed. One source I found in anticipation of writing this story said, “Guest’s verse reflects the sensibility of his era, and is hardly read today.”Nonetheless, I have enjoyed reading Guest’s poetry over the years. His is a comforting voice in a world that I fear has gone mad, and I find myself occasionally sitting in the lamplight of my space reading from one of his slender blue volumes.

I first read a fragment of one of Guest’s poems years and years ago, and in those days, before the Internet and search engine quick hits, I typed up the few lines I had on a creaky old typewriter and placed them under the glass of my office desk not knowing who wrote them. In time, I discovered Guest’s authorship, that the poem was called “Success,” and that those words would begin an off-again, on-again search for his old books. That is still a bit of a passion for me. The third stanza of the poem is still a favorite:

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Mike Lunsford
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Raw: Black Boxes of Downed Jetliner Turned Over Israeli Aircraft Hits Dozens of Gaza Targets Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity