Don’t Quit by Edgar Albert Guest


The poem “DON’T QUIT”, written by Edgar Albert Guest has tons of encouragement and optimism. It has the overtones of the poem “If” written by Rudyard Kipling.

The poem begins with the lines, “When things go wrong ,as they sometimes will.” Human beings expect things to go right always and naturally feel frustated and discouraged at the slightest negative twist or turn in their lives. The poet metaphorically describes life as a road which might be “all uphill.” That’s when man is expected to carry on even when there is a lack or want of money and when debts are mounting. He advises man to rest if he must and asks him not to quit.

Edgar A.Guest says life is strange withs its ups and downs and we must move ahead even if the pace of life is slow and strained with failures only. We might succeed with another try.

Edgar then goes on to say that “Success is failure turned inside out” and that there is always a silver lining to a dark cloud and so we might never know how close we are to success, though the horizon seems far and unreachable. He reiterates that we should stick to the fight when we are hardest hit and essentially when things get worse we must never quit.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

The poet asks us not to quit when things go wrong, and the job we have taken up is very difficult or our life is fraught with difficulties. Second line is a comparison-our life and its difficulties.


When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

He says not to quit when money is not sufficient and debts are heavy, when we want to be happy but can only sigh, and when worries are pressing us down. He advises to take a break but not to give up.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,

He says that life is strange with many twists and turns, and many of us learn it sometimes in our lives.

And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;

Many failures do not remain so, but turn into success and a person who had been losing would have won if he had not given up.

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.

He repeats not to give up though life may pass slowly and we might succeed with another attempt.

Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

He declares that success is nothing but failure previously experienced, and the silver lining of a dark cloud of doubt. Here doubts are compared to clouds which stop us from thinking clearly.

And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,

We can never tell how close we are to success, though it may seem to be very far, it may be very close to us.

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

He says not to give up the fights even when we are hardest hit, and when things get worse one must never give up.

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