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I love this poem and found a story behind it....

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Bessie Anderson Stanley 1904

He has achieved success
who has lived well,
laughed often, and loved much;

who has enjoyed the trust of
pure women,

the respect of intelligent men and
the love of little children;

who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;

who has left the world better than he found it
whether by an improved poppy,
a perfect poem or a rescued soul;

who has never lacked appreciation of Earth's beauty
or failed to express it;

who has always looked for the best in others and
given them the best he had;

whose life was an inspiration;
whose memory a benediction.

--1904 Bessie Anderson Stanley


Note:I did not write this. I copied it from the link below. Chris

"Success was written as the winning entry in a contest run by Brown Book Magazine in 1904. Bessie won a cash prize of $250 which paid off the mortgage on the house, among other things. It was included in Bartlett's Book of Quotations for decades, and if you can find an old edition from the 30's or 40's, it should be in there. They dropped it, I think in the 60's, but I don't know why.

The family isn't sure how the poem got mangled and attributed to Emerson, but it was further confused by Ann Landers and her sister Abby. Ann Landers used to (mis)quote it all the time and cite Emerson as the source. My (not me-chris!)great-uncle Art, a retired federal judge who died last March, and she had a decade-long correspondence as he argued for a public correction. She finally conceded and in her book, The Ann Landers Encyclopedia, prints the whole story. "

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
PATTYCAKE17 2/5/2014 11:05AM

    emoticon for sharing this lovely story. It's in sync with my current favorite TV series DOWNTON ABBEY, around the same time of this poem when good manners and others before self were still standards to live by, Of course this poem was dropped in the 60's as the ME GENERATION emerged! I'm so glad we over 60's crowd have lived to realize and treasure both of these standards and attitudes. We have learned not to sacrifice ourselves at the feet of others, but can still maintain selfless values. Such a lovely poem. I'm going to myself a copy. emoticon
I wasn't able to e-mail a copy; could you send a copy to my spark mail?

Comment edited on: 2/5/2014 11:11:41 AM

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TINY67 2/5/2014 7:50AM


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ALIHIKES 2/4/2014 8:21PM

    Very nice poem, thank you for sharing

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JINLYNN 2/3/2014 5:54PM

    Wonderful poem! Thanks for sharing it.

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NANCYPAT1 2/3/2014 1:18PM

    I too love this poem and also the story that goes with it.

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IAMWINNING 2/3/2014 10:53AM

    Hey, Chris, Thanks bunches for reprinting the poem and for the back story. Interesting how things get messed up and the mistakes take on a life of their own!

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DONNABRIGHT 2/3/2014 9:49AM


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THROOPER62 2/3/2014 1:03AM


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ARTJAC 2/2/2014 11:25PM


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SHERYLP461 2/2/2014 11:00PM

    Wonderful, Can you imagine $250.00 paying off a mortgage. It wouldn't even make 1 payment today.

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    Very interesting!

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LAURANCE 2/2/2014 9:25PM

  Good quote, and hey, I never heard of the Ann Landers Encyclopedia! I'm going to ask that know-it-all, Nice Mr. Google!

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IMEMINE1 2/2/2014 8:35PM


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LJCANNON 2/2/2014 8:23PM

    emoticon Thank You!! I love reading the "Story" behind familiar Quotes, or Hymns that we grow up repeating. So often it makes the Quote or Hymn even more meaningful to know how it came about.

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LIVINHEALTHY9 2/2/2014 7:48PM

    Lovely poem.

Glad it's been correctly attributed to her, thanks to your great uncle.

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MADEIT3 2/2/2014 7:47PM

    Lovely sentiments. It's too bad that it was attributed to the wrong person all these years. Thanks for posting!

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BRENJET 2/2/2014 7:44PM

    Love, love, love this quote!!! Thank you for sharing it and educating us on it's origin.
Beautiful way to end my day!!

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SANDRALEET 2/2/2014 7:29PM

    That is life people get not the recognition they should.Same thing happened with foot steps in the sand Some one else claimed it as her own

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