Archive for October 20th, 2015

GC Myers- Blocked 2015 smIsn’t it strange how princes and kings,
and clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
and common people, like you and me,
are builders for eternity?

Each is given a list of rules;
a shapeless mass; a bag of tools.
And each must fashion, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block, or a Stepping-Stone.

–R. L. Sharpe


I came across the short poem, Bag of Tools, above recently and it caught my eye with its simple yet insightful message.  Looking deeper, into it, I found that it is often quoted and there are even videos of people reciting it, including one with Maggie Smith that was used in an ad for a large bank.

But who was the author , this R. L. Sharpe and when was it written?

There is little info on the poet and I have seen the poem dated 1890 as well as 1809, although I felt the earlier date was just a misinterpretation of the 1890. date.  So after a bit of digging, I came across  one little blurb on a forum that stated about the poet:

He was born in the 1870s and died in the 1950s.
For years he worked with his father, Edwin R. Sharpe,
who owned The Carrollton Free Press and a printing shop in Carrollton, Georgia.
In his later years he traveled a lot, mostly freelancing for magazines
of the ’20s and ’30s.

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the info although I have seen a number of references from books of the early 20th century with attributions from an R’L. Sharpe in Carrolton , GA.  I wonder if he ever realized the possibility that his words would one day become so widespread?  He obviously fashioned a stepping-stone.

The painting at the top is a new piece, 8″ by 8″ on paper, that I call Blocked.  It seems to fit…

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