Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"Home" by Edgar A. Guest

I got to thinking the other day, and I couldn't remember ever posting a poem here on The Political Chicken, since they don't have much to do with politics, but I do love a few and this is one of them.  It is simply titled, "Home" and it's written by a man named Edgar A. Guest.  I don't know much about him or his style of writing, but this poem warms my heart when I read it; it makes me think of my little boys and how true it is that I would hang onto even the thumbprints and smudges they made if it would keep them little just a bit longer.  My mom tells me stories of my dad's mom and how she used to like to keep the smudges and lip prints my sister and I used to make on her glass door.  I can totally relate to that feeling as a mom now.  Here's how it goes:

It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home,
A heap o’ sun an’ shadder, an’ ye sometimes have t’ roam
Afore ye really ’preciate the things ye lef’ behind,
An’ hunger fer ’em somehow, with ’em allus on yer mind.
It don’t make any differunce how rich ye get t’ be,
How much yer chairs an’ tables cost, how great yer luxury;
It ain’t home t’ ye, though it be the palace of a king,
Until somehow yer soul is sort o’ wrapped round everything.

Home ain’t a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute;
Afore it’s home there’s got t’ be a heap o’ livin’ in it;
Within the walls there’s got t’ be some babies born, and then
Right there ye’ve got t’ bring ‘em up t’ women good, an’ men;
And gradjerly, as time goes on, ye find ye wouldn’t part
With anything they ever used—they’ve grown into yer heart:
The old high chairs, the playthings, too, the little shoes they wore
Ye hoard; an’ if ye could ye’d keep the thumbmarks on the door.

Ye’ve got t’ weep t’ make it home, ye’ve got t’ sit an’ sigh
An’ watch beside a loved one’s bed, an’ know that Death is nigh;
An’ in the stillness o’ the night t’ see Death’s angel come,
An’ close the eyes o’ her that smiled, an’ leave her sweet voice dumb.
Fer these are scenes that grip the heart, an’ when yer tears are dried,
Ye find the home is dearer than it was, an’ sanctified;
An’ tuggin’ at ye always are the pleasant memories
O’ her that was an’ is no more—ye can’t escape from these.

Ye’ve got t’ sing an’ dance fer years, ye’ve got t’ romp an’ play,
An’ learn t’ love the things ye have by usin’ ’em each day;
Even the roses ’round the porch must blossom year by year
Afore they ’come a part o’ ye, suggestin’ someone dear
Who used t’ love ’em long ago, an’ trained ’em jes’ t’ run
The way they do, so’s they would get the early mornin’ sun;
Ye’ve got t’ love each brick an’ stone from cellar up t’ dome:
It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home.

There's so much to relate to in this poem, I could go on and on, about how sometimes you have to travel to appreciate where you live, the place you call 'home'.  We all can relate to the death part of the poem, too, and that might be why I'm posting this, just one day after the twentieth anniversary of my own dad's death.  Yes, death is a part of life, as it is often said, but that doesn't make it any easier to say goodbye to a loved one.  As he says, 'An tuggin' at ye always are the pleasant memories, O' her that was an' is no more--ye' can't escape from these."  It's true, you can't escape from these.

So, thank you God, for all of  these experiences in life, the joy of a birth, the pain of a death, the happiness and the sorrow.  These things make us who we are and although not always pleasant, it is what we call 'life'.  To quote John Lennon, which is also something I'm not known to do, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."

So, make plans to enjoy the simple things, the feeling of the warm sunshine on your face, the wind blowing in your hair and a few good friends to enjoy a cup of coffee with and maybe a dessert.

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