Poetry Sunday: Thanksgiving by Edgar Albert Guest

Remembrance of Thanksgivings past.

Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday of the year. I remember Thanksgivings at my parents' house when everyone would crowd in and we would all enjoy a great meal together and spend the afternoon visiting and catching up. Those days were a lot like Edgar Albert Guest described in this folksy poem. Thanksgiving this year will be a lot different, a lot quieter, but we will be no less thankful.  


by Edgar Albert Guest
Gettin’ together to smile an’ rejoice,
An’ eatin’ an’ laughin’ with folks of your choice;
An’ kissin’ the girls an’ declarin’ that they
Are growin’ more beautiful day after day;
Chattin’ an’ braggin’ a bit with the men,
Buildin’ the old family circle again;
Livin’ the wholesome an’ old-fashioned cheer,
Just for awhile at the end of the year.

Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door
And under the old roof we gather once more
Just as we did when the youngsters were small;
Mother’s a little bit grayer, that’s all.
Father’s a little bit older, but still
Ready to romp an’ to laugh with a will.
Here we are back at the table again
Tellin’ our stories as women an’ men.

Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;
Oh, but we’re grateful an’ glad to be there.
Home from the east land an’ home from the west,
Home with the folks that are dearest an’ best.
Out of the sham of the cities afar
We’ve come for a time to be just what we are.
Here we can talk of ourselves an’ be frank,
Forgettin’ position an’ station an’ rank.

Give me the end of the year an’ its fun
When most of the plannin’ an’ toilin’ is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin’ with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An’ I’ll put soul in my Thanksgivin’ prayers.


  1. As you say, this is folksy in its tone. It seems to be the poetic version of folk art. Nonetheless heartfelt for all that.

    1. Guest's forte was apparently folksiness. He produced poems that were easily accessible to the public and were without much subtext. Not for nothing was he called the "People's Poet."

  2. My sisters and I figured out to wear what we called "eating clothes" to the Thanksgiving feast. Loose, with room in them. That is my favorite memory.


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