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The One In Ten

Edgar Albert Guest

About The Author

After he began at the Detroit Free Press as a copy boy and then a reporter, his first poem appeared 11 December 1898. He became a naturalized citizen in 1902.


For 40 years, Guest was widely read throughout North America, and his sentimental, optimistic poems were in the same vein as the light verse of Nick Kenny, who wrote syndicated columns during the same decades.

From his first published work in the Detroit Free Press until his death in 1959, Guest penned some 11,000 poems which were syndicated in some 300 newspapers and collected in more than 20 books, including A Heap o' Livin' (1916) and Just Folks (1923–1957). Guest was made Poet Laureate of Michigan, the only poet to have been awarded the title.

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About The Poem

'The One In Ten' poem written by Edgar Albert Guest is about stranger's plight and a stranger's need. It talks about our willingness to help people, if so many people are around. We think that someone else will extend a helping hand, so we do not come forward and become silent spectator instead, which is not fair, it's our sacred duty to help people who are in need.

The One in Ten

by:  Edgar Albert Guest

Nine passed him by with a hasty look,

Each bent on his eager way;

One glance at him was the most they took,

"Somebody stuck," said they;

But it never occurred to the nine to heed

A stranger's plight and a stranger's need.


The tenth man looked at the stranded car,

And he promptly stopped his own.

"Let's see if I know what your troubles are,"

Said he in a cheerful tone;


"Just stuck in the mire. Here's a cable stout,

Hitch onto my bus and I'll pull you out."

"A thousand thanks," said the stranger then,

"For the debt that I owe you;

I've counted them all and you're one in ten

Such a kindly deed to do."


And the tenth man smiled and he answered then,

"Make sure that you'll be the one in ten."


Are you one of the nine who pass men by

In this hasty life we live?

Do you refuse with a downcast eye

The help which you could give?


Or are you the one in ten whose creed

Is always to stop for the man in need?

                               ‘दस में एक’

                         लेखक- एडगर ए. गेस्ट

Transcreated by:
​'Ambar' Kharbanda


कभी-कभी इंसान कोई 

अनजानी मुश्किल में पड़ता है

मदद को कोई आ जाए जो,

 उसकी राह तका करता है

लेकिन अक्सर देखा है हम

 आँख बचा कर चल देते हैं

या फिर एक तमाशाई बन कर 

इक ओर खड़े रहते हैं


दस में से नौ का तो यही,

 अक्सर व्यवहार हुआ करता है

हाँ, कोई दसवाँ ही मदद को

 उसकी और बढ़ा करता है

ऐसा ही इक रोज़ हुआ जब

 कोई गिरा हुआ रस्ते में

देख रहा था सबको ही वो

 इक उम्मीद लिए आँखों में

दस में से नौ ने तो देखा,

 और चल दिए राह पे अपनी

लेकिन दसवां रुका, बढ़ाया

 इसने हाथ मदद को उसकी

फँसा हुआ था जो बेचारा

 जब मुश्किल से बाहर निकला

तब वो अपने मददगार से

 टूटे लफ़्ज़ों में ये बोला


“मैंने देखा है नौ लोगों को

 अपना मुँह फेर के जाते

तुम भी शायद जा सकते थे,

 तुम भी शायद इधर न आते

लेकिन तुमने बड़ी मदद की

 मुझ पर है एहसान तुम्हारा

मैं तुमको क्या दे सकता हूँ,

 तुमने मुझको दिया सहारा”


सुन कर उसकी बात वो बोला

 “क्या तुम ऐसा कर सकते हो?”

तुम दस में से एक बनोगे?

 क्या ये वादा कर सकते हो... 


क्या तुम भी उन नौ में हो

जो भागम-भाग भरे जीवन में

छोड़ के चल देते हैं उनको,

 जो हैं पड़े हुए उलझन में”


मुश्किल में जो पड़े हैं उनको

 छोड़ के आगे बढ़ जाते हो

या फिर दस में एक हो तुम,

 क्या ख़ुशी-ख़ुशी आगे आते हो...?


भागम-भाग तो लगी रहेगी 

क्या हम ऐसा कर सकते हैं?

क्या हम दस में एक बनेगे? 

क्या ये वादा कर सकते हो?

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