Edgar Albert Guest

(20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England)

Improvement - Poem by Edgar Albert Guest

The joy of life is living it, or so it seems to me;
In finding shackles on your wrists, then struggling till you're free;
In seeing wrongs and righting them, in dreaming splendid dreams,
Then toiling till the vision is as real as moving streams.
The happiest mortal on the earth is he who ends his day
By leaving better than he found to bloom along the way.
Were all things perfect here there would be naught for man to do;
If what is old were good enough we'd never need the new.
The only happy time of rest is that which follows strife
And sees some contribution made unto the joy of life.
And he who has oppression felt and conquered it is he
Who really knows the happiness and peace of being free.
The miseries of earth are here and with them all must cope.
Who seeks for joy, through hedges thick of care and pain must grope.
Through disappointment man must go to value pleasure's thrill;
To really know the joy of health a man must first be ill.
The wrongs are here for man to right, and happiness is had
By striving to supplant with good the evil and the bad.
The joy of life is living it and doing things of worth,
In making bright and fruitful all the barren spots of earth.
In facing odds and mastering them and rising from defeat,
And making true what once was false, and what was bitter, sweet.
For only he knows perfect joy whose little bit of soil
Is richer ground than what it was when he began to toil.


Comments about Improvement by Edgar Albert Guest

  • (6/20/2016 9:28:00 AM)

    Truly inspiring to say the least, every sentence bore courage, a zest sparkled in me to want to win everyday knowing it was supposed to be tough at first for me to glorify in the victory of my results. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (12/14/2015 11:51:00 PM)

    now generation always wanted newest and best even
    they truly can't afford it... why? parenting issue
    (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Bunny Monster716 (9/9/2015 12:44:00 AM)

    Really great poem title and everything down to the last sentence. It's hopeful and it gives light on life and how you feel it should be lived. The rhyming flows nicely and its really nice to read. Thank you. (Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Melissa Patty (1/25/2015 4:48:00 AM)

    I think this poem absolutely beautiful [3 True word spoken :) x (Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 4 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Saturday, July 12, 2014



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