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An Alpha poem from 1934 (self.TheRedPill)

submitted by jordanaction

Tldr, I love this. The writer tells of how you are the only person you have to prove yourself to. Alpha as fuck.

Body

The Guy in the Glass Poem (Man in the Mirror)

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you king for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t a man’s father, mother or wife,
Whose judgement upon him must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in life,
Is the man staring back from the glass.

He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test,
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But the final reward will be heartache and tears,
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

= Dale Wimbrow, first published in The American Magazine in 1934.

Lesson learned, don't go around worried about proving your worth to everyone. Prove it to yourself. Women come and go, parents die, people dissapoint, at the end of the day it's you and a mirror.


[–]becredible 138 points139 points  (7 children)

Original Poem:

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn't your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Who judgement upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He's the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear up to the end,
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and "chisel" a plum,
And think you're a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the guy in the glass.

[–]jordanaction[S] 19 points20 points  (2 children)

Thanks for adding that. I like the original despite the dated text.

[–]NecroticFury 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Its actually not dated. The reference to Jack Horner's "chisel" of a plum isn't a reference to literature specific to the period this poem was written in. Here, to "chisel" actually means to steal while simultaneously going unnoticed. Its comparing the next paragraph's "pats on the back as you pass" to 'stealing a plum.' "You can fool the whole world" into thinking "you're a wonderful guy."

Essentially saying external validation is useless. The original is more relevant now than ever before.

[–]becredible 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I think Jack Horner is referencing this nursery rhyme.

Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said 'What a good boy am I!'

Here is a piece on NPR explaining the nursery rhyme further.

Also "pelf" means "money, especially when gained in a dishonest or dishonorable way." OP miswrote it as "self" but this single letter, along with the meaning of the nursery rhyme alluded to in the original but left out in OPs version, certainly changes the entire poem.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks for posting the original. Read it to my son today. He is young (12), but I think this holds some good lessons. We had a good discussion about it afterward.

[–]3NO_LAH_WHERE_GOT 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is actually a great summary of The Fountainhead.

[–]InfinitusDolor 8 points9 points  (0 children)

French teacher read this to us my first year of highschool. Changed my life.

[–]StillThriving 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Love this. Thanks for sharing.

[–]jordanaction[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

no worries. Keep reading it every day.

[–]AdonisHera 4 points5 points  (0 children)

You'll never be at peace until you're satisfied with the man who plops his head on the pillow at night. Great poem. Bookmarked.

[–]kinpsychosis 5 points6 points  (0 children)

For a while now I was thinking "It is pretty sad if you have to live your life as you are expected to live it and it is even worse if you are only allowed to be happy if society gives your permission.

[–]cucumber_vaccine 15 points15 points [recovered]

Can you please edit your post and add two spaces to the ends of lines ?

If I write this (where the underscores are actually spaces):

foo__
bar

Reddit renders:

foo
bar

[–]getRedPill 1 point2 points  (4 children)

I've been struggling to make a paragraph for a time. That is, a significant blank space between two blocks of text.

[–]cucumber_vaccine 5 points5 points [recovered]

line one__
line two

line three__
line four

line one
line two

line three
line four

Does that help?

[–]fingerthemoon 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks man. Learn something new everyday.

[–]drdavethedavedoctor 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That gave me the chills. Great post.

[–]nevercomment 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Does anyone else have any poems or articles like this, from earlier periods of time but still discussing the issues we discuss here, like being assertive, masculinity etc.

I know of the essay As A Man Thinketh:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/As_a_Man_Thinketh

Anyone have anything similar?

[–]FriendOf_TheDevil 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Similar sentiment in

If by Rudyard Kipling http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/175772

Invictus by William Henry Garrison http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/182194

[–]CaptainGloom 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Those are both poems I would have chosen too

[–]FriendOf_TheDevil 0 points1 point  (0 children)

A little mainstream, but they're classics for a reason

[–]fingerthemoon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Your self-worth in the most valuable thing you can ever own.

No one can give it to you but yourself, and no one can take it from you either, once you've earned it.