Poem Themes •
Random Poem •
The Rating of Poets • The Rating of Poems
Poem by Eugene Field
There is a certain Yankee phrase I always have revered, Yet, somehow, in these modern days, It's almost disappeared; It was the usage years ago, But nowadays it's got To be regarded coarse and low To answer: "I guess not!" The height of fashion called the pink Affects a British craze— Prefers "I fancy" or "I think" To that time-honored phrase; But here's a Yankee, if you please, That brands the fashion rot, And to all heresies like these He answers, "I—guess not!"— When Chaucer, Wycliff, and the rest Express their meaning thus, I guess, if not the very best, It's good enough for us! Why! shall the idioms of our speech Be banished and forgot For this vain trash which moderns teach? Well, no, sir; I guess not! There's meaning in that homely phrase No other words express— No substitute therefor conveys Such unobtrusive stress. True Anglo-Saxon speech, it goes Directly to the spot, And he who hears it always knows The worth of "I—guess—not!"
Eugene Field's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org