Who Are We, by William Guest

atmosphereWho Are We, an essay in verse, investigates the history of the universe and, in it, the role of humanity. About the book, Harvard University professor of Biology Brian Farrell said “I am overwhelmed by the beauty and truth of this epic poem.”

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“This poem, Who Are We, carries with it a remarkably clear insight not only into modern cosmology, but also the basic physics underlying modern cosmology. I read into the night because I couldn’t put it down. How did we get here, what are we, and where are we going is a wonderful read.” ~Norris Keeler, Ph.D., Editorial Board, Journal of Cosmology

“The topic of Who Are We is the fundamental question we all think about when we step into philosophy or poetry, and this poem captures the subject the way it appears to me. It’s a kind of poetry that is not seen every day on our present poetry landscape, but it’s good poetry, real poetry, with something to say and it can be understood. This book deserves attention.” ~Hon. Evelyn Keyes, Ph.D., Associate Justice, First Court of Appeals, Texas

“I am not a poet but I enjoy reading poetry, and Guest’s poem is very satisfying. The topic is well served by the language, which may be his own genre. It makes his thesis understandable and informative, which certainly provides a lot to think about. I plan on sharing this with friends who I believe will want to read it. What a gift that he has written it.” ~Joe Merrill, M.D., Professor Emeritus, Baylor College of Medicine

“I wanted to give this poem the attention that it deserves. It was really an adventure and a journey for me. I learned a lot…thought a lot…and felt a lot. It really is an amazing work. It’s not just science. It is man’s voice struggling with it, and playing with it, and feeling the terror and wonder of it. In a way, it is a very important poem for our times because we are at the end of an epoch of time, and everything is changing so rapidly that there is a need for a poetic voice, or many poetic voices, speaking of it…and this poem has a rich combination of thoughts, the science and the poetry.” ~Loueva Smith, Poet, Playwright, Performance Artist


William Guest graduated from Yale University in 1953, and Harvard Law School in 1957. A practicing attorney from 1957 – 1985, he was chair and CEO of a life insurance enterprise engaged in acquisitions from 1985 – 2006. Poetry and sculpting is his third career.

His poems have appeared in venues such as The New Lantern Review, Calliope, Storyteller Magazine, The Listening Eye, the anthologies of Texas Poetry by Mutabilis Press: Weight of Addition, and, in 2015, Untameable City: Poems on the Nature of Houston . He was also a juried poet in The Houston Poetry Fest.

Guest is a South Carolina native and long-time resident of Houston, Texas. He is a life member of the Philosophical Society of Texas, the Houston Philosophical Society, and the Board of Visitors of McDonald Observatory, as well as a board member of the Houston chapter of Texas Nature Conservancy, Mercury Baroque Orchestra, and an Advisory Director of Public Poetry.

Beyond Who Are We, Guest is also the author of a forthcoming book of travel journals called Places You Want To Go (Antarctica, the Arctic, Peru and the Amazon Basin, and the Yeats Poetry Festival in Sligo, Ireland) to be published by Lamar University Press. Guest is also a sculptor. More at williamguest.com.