Saturday, March 29, 2014

How Did You

Illustrations by Gordon Ross
How Did You Die? by 1Edmund Vance Cooke

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
Edmund Vance Cooke PoemWith a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It's nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there -- that's disgrace.
The harder you're thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts,
It's how did you fight -- and why?

And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he's slow or spry,
It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts,
But only how did you die?

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1. Biography
"Edmund Vance Cooke, popularly known as "the poet laureate of childhood," was born on June 5, 1866, in Port Dover, Ontario, Canada. He began working at 13-14 years old for the White Sewing Machine Co. factory and stayed there for 14 years until he became a self-employed poet and lecturer in 1893. His first book of poems, A Patch of Pansies, came out the next year. Four years later, he married Lilith Castleberry; and they had five children. He published at least 16 books of verse, as well as other books, but he is best known for his poem "How Did You Die?" Once the Detroit News launched its radio station, WWJ, in 1920, Cooke broadcast his own poems. In this he pioneered a path that Edgar Guest was to take nationwide in the 1930s. Cooke died in Cleveland on December 18, 1932."

Impertinent poems By Edmund Vance Cooke

1 comment:

jolenesiah said...

how r u :) hope u r doing well... smile and the light will shine.. (i try to smile too.. to control my mental illness too)

i having some dilemma, of not knowing what should i do... i have plenty of tigers news... but i just cant put it on the blog im having... because of the copyright issue.. it frustrate me.... because i cant help the tigers...

and i like this poem that u shared... is true... but say is easy than done... i too working on it... but strange things to me... when my emotion roar... i compose the poem... if not... i cant really right a good one...

hugs again... :)