"Myself"

By: Edgar A. Guest

Literal

The speaker is describing how they are the only ones that have to live with themselves and their actions. They continuously state how they want to have no regrets when they look back on their life. Each stanza describes how the speaker wants to be guilt-free and happy.

Situation

In the first stanza, the speaker starts off by saying how they do not want to hate themselves because of the things that they have done. They do not want to reflect and regret on the things that have happened in the past. The second stanza portrays how they do not want any burdens or guilt weighing on their shoulders. They do not want to be in denial for any of their actions because if it happened, it is already done and cannot be changed. The third stanza reveals a sense of leaving the world with happiness and being respecting of themselves. They want to have respect from others, but they do not want to gain it through peer pressure. The speaker does not want to become uninteresting and drawn into tirade. The fourth stanza shows how the speaker feels about themselves looking into the future. They state how they cannot hide themselves from their own personal life actions, and feelings. The final stanza further explains how the speaker feels looking into the future. They want to continue to be guilt and burden free, no matter what happens.

Structure

This poem has twenty four lines. The first three stanzas have six lines. The fourth stanza has four lines with a couplet thereafter. This is considered a Ballad, but this poem is about the speaker, so it is a narrative poem. The poem has a movement of a circle. The main idea is very evident in the first stanza, then the poem ventures into saying why the main idea is in fact the overall theme. The last couplet restates the main theme in different words.Most of the sentences in the poem are simple. There is a lot of speech in the first person. The title, "Myself" says multitudes about the piece of work. The word 'myself' typically means that it is all about one person who is talking about themselves. That is essentially what the poem is. Edgar A. Guest describes one person talking about themselves and how they want to be free of all guilt and negativity.

Language

The diction used in the poem is very simple. Most word meanings were easy to identify in each line. I feel words like erect stood out in the poem. This word means rigidly upright or straight. This stands out because the poem talks about how the speaker wants to be happy. When people are happy, their heads are ''held high''. The specific word represents a mood and attitude of happiness. In the first stanza, the speaker says, " I don't want to stand with the setting sun,"(5). This is a form of imagery because the setting sun is a showing of reflection. The speaker says they don't want to stand with the setting sun because they do not want to reflect and regret on their actions, thoughts, or situations. In the second stanza, the speaker says, " I don't want to hide on a closet shelf,"(7). This is a form of imagery because a closet shelf holds weight or items that can potentially carry weight. The speaker says they don't want to hide on a closet shelf because they do not want guilt or burden on their shoulders. These examples of imagery intensify the poem by exasperating the overall statement that the poet writes into the poem.

Musical Devices

The rhyme scheme was AABBCCDDAA. This scheme occurs in a very regular pattern. Its effect is very satisfying to the ear. It involves some slant rhymes. For example, sun and done in lines five and six. The rhythm of the poem is stressed in the first and last words of the poem, when spoken. The tonal effect is on these words to signify the ideas of the poem. It is all about the speaker and what they want. Out of twenty-four lines, twenty-one had words referring back to first person or the speaker. This tonal effect signifies the true meaning of the poem. The true meaning is one person wants to be happy.


The created a change in mood for me. This entire poem makes me reflect back on my life and how I need to live with no regret. The poet uses certain technical elements to create this effect. Edgar A. Guest uses the repetition of the word "I" and continuously referring to the overall theme of wanting to be happy.