Edgar Allen Guest also known as Eddie Guest was a prolific English-born American poet who was popular in the first half of the 20th century and became known as the People's Poet.
Eddie Guest was born in Birmingham, England in 1881, moving to Michigan USA as a young child, it was here he was educated.
In 1895, the year before Henry Ford took his first ride in a motor carriage, Eddie Guest signed on with the Free Press as a 13-year-old office boy. He stayed for 60 years.
In those six decades, Detroit underwent half a dozen identity changes, but Eddie Guest became a steadfast character on the changing scene.
Three years after he joined the Free Press, Guest became a cub reporter. He quickly worked his way through the labor beat -- a much less consequential beat than it is today -- the waterfront beat and the police beat, where he worked "the dog watch" -- 3 p.m. to 3 a.m.
By the end of that year -- the year he should have been completing high school -- Guest had a reputation as a scrappy reporter in a competitive town.
It did not occur to Guest to write in verse until late in 1898 when he was working as assistant exchange editor. It was his job to cull timeless items from the newspapers with which the Free Press exchanged papers for use as fillers. Many of the items were verses. Guest figured he might just as well write verse as clip it and submitted one of his own, a dialect verse, to Sunday editor Arthur Mosley. The Free Press was choosy about publishing the literary efforts of staff members and Guest, a 17-year-old dropout, might have been seen as something of an upstart. But Mosley decided to publish the verse, His verse ran on Dec. 11, 1898.
More contributions of verse and observations led to a weekly column, "Blue Monday Chat," and then a daily column, "Breakfast Table Chat."
Verse had always been part of Guest's writing, but he had more or less followed the workaday road of many newsmen for 10 years. In 1908, standing in the rain as the solitary mourner for one such journalist who had long since been forgotten and relegated to the newspaper's morgue, Guest resolved to escape that fate by becoming a specialist. From that day forward, nearly all of his writing was in meter and rhyme.
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