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’ve 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 that nobody else will know
The kind of a man I really am;
I don’t want to dress myself up 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 pelf,
I want to be able to like myself.
I don’t want to think as I come and go
That I’m 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.
by Edgar A. Guest
Edgar Albert ‘Eddie’ Guest was born on 20 August 1881 in Birmingham, England. He immigrated with his family to the United States of America in 1891. From his first published work in the “Detroit Free Press” until his passing in 1959, he penned some 11,000 poems that were syndicated in 300 newspapers and collected into more than twenty books. Mr. Guest is reputed to have had a new poem published in a newspaper every day for more than thirty years. He became known as ‘The People’s Poet,’ writing poems that were of a sentimental and optimistic nature. Edgar Albert ‘Eddie’ Guest passed on at 77 years of age on 5 August 1959 in Detroit, Michigan, United States of America.