As we commemorate those soldiers who died in war since the U.S. Civil War on this upcoming Memorial Day of May 30, 2011, I want to share a poem entitled “Just Folks”, possibly authored by Edgar A. Guest. I found it among some news paper clippings from 1943, kept by Bill’s family when he and his brother Henry went off to fight in World War Two.
It’s a touching poem which to me exquisitely captures the essence of the sacrifices made by those from both sides of war – on the home front and in the multiple theaters of operations around the world.
Although this poem is entitled “Just Folks” the actual poem with that title written by Guest is completely different. There is a public domain book by the same title and author which can be found at Project Gutenberg. “Just Folks” is the first poem in the book, but the words of the above poem cannot be found anywhere in the volume. Furthermore, nowhere can I find a Guest poem by the title “Do This”. It is possible that the news paper erroneously attributed the work. Whether or not this is a Guest poem is a mystery to me.
Here are some links for more about Edgar A. Guest and his wonderful poetry:
Sofine's Edgar Guest Collection http://sofinesjoyfulmoments.com/quotes/edguest.htm
Academy of American Poets http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/731
Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/g#a182