Comparing the Poems of R. Leonard Swanson and Edgar Guest

Dad at nursing home 001Since my father’s death on October 19, 2013, I have been working on compiling a permanent memoir of him along with his poems for a hardcover copy of his work. When I was growing up, my father, R. Leonard Swanson always said that he wrote write in the style of Edgar Guest. Because the Nursing Staff at Corry Manor called Dad “Santa Claus” and because it is the holiday season, I thought it would be appropriate to compare Dad’s poems to Mr. Guest’s poems. I have done a little research into Edgar Guest’s work and found a Christmas poem that he wrote and I have a Christmas poem that Dad wrote. There is a bit of difference in style, but there is definitely a similarity.

A Christmas Greeting

by

Edgar Albert Guest

Here’s to you, little mother,
With your boy so far away;
May the joy of service smother
All your grief this Christmas day;
May the magic of his splendor
Thrill your spirit through and through
And may all that’s fine and tender
Make a smiling day for you.

May you never know the sadness
That from day to day you dread;
May you never find but gladness
In the Flag that’s overhead;
May the good God watch above him
As he stands to duty stern,
And at last to all who love him
May he have a safe return.

Little mother, take the blessing
Of a grateful nation’s heart;
May the news that is distressing
Never cause your tears to start;
May there be no fears to haunt you,
And no lonely hours and sad;
May your trials never daunt you,
But may every day be glad.

Little Mother, could I do it,
This my Christmas gift would be:
That he’d safely battle through it,
This to you I’d guarantee.
And I’d pledge to you this morning
Joys to banish all your cares,
Gifts of gold and silver scorning,
I would answer all your prayers.

The Greatest Gift

by

R. Leonard Swanson

On early Christmas morning

The kids ran down the stair

To open all the presents,

They knew were waiting there.

I was so very happy

As I stood beside the tree

Watching them open up the gifts

And clap their hands in glee.

Suddenly I closed my eyes

And I began to pray,

“Dear Lord, help them remember,

Whose birthday is today.”

They, with their toys are playing

In merriment and mirth,

Dear God, impress upon their hearts

The blessed Savior’s birth.

Victims of the worldly things,

Please do not let them fall,

But grant them Thy salvation

The greatest gift of all.

What do you think? Can see the similarities?

My writing is quite different from that of Dad’s for instance, he wrote short carefully worded poetry, whereas I see a bigger, more complex scene so I tend to write novels. I know they say that writers should begin with short stories and move onto the more complex. I didn’t do that. I don’t know that I could write a short story now. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading short stories. For instance I love Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” as well as “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber which will be coming out as a movie on Christmas. I like poetry too, when I’m in the right mood, but I personally would rather write novels and articles. Last month I wrote the first draft of my upcoming novel: In the Shadow of the Millpond which I hope to have finished late in 2015. This past week I wrote two new articles for hubpages. At hubpages  hubs are what they call articles. If you would liek to write hubs for hubpages, here’s the link.

The articles that I wrote this week were:

Chicken and Lentil Noodle Soup

The Legend of Johnny Appleseed

Simply click on the links to read the articles. I want to thank Bill Holland and Lisa V for the comments they made this week! I really appreciate the feedback. It certainly helps know that there are people who enjoy what I write. I will be writing my next post on Monday! Have a Safe and Wonderful Weekend!

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3 thoughts on “Comparing the Poems of R. Leonard Swanson and Edgar Guest

  1. Pingback: Comparing the Poems of R. Leonard Swanson and Edgar Guest | howmyspiritsings

  2. I have always loved your dad’s poetry. I would ask him to recite a poem for me when I visited him at the Manor, and he was always so happy to do that. I really miss him! He does share a lot in common with Edgar Guest. I think you are a good writer, too, because I can tell your writing comes from the heart. Love to you.

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