Edgar Albert Guest

(20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England)

On Quitting - Poem by Edgar Albert Guest

How much grit do you think you've got?
Can you quit a thing that you like a lot?
You may talk of pluck; it's an easy word,
And where'er you go it is often heard;
But can you tell to a jot or guess
Just how much courage you now possess?
You may stand to trouble and keep your grin,
But have you tackled self-discipline?
Have you ever issued commands to you
To quit the things that you like to do,
And then, when tempted and sorely swayed,
Those rigid orders have you obeyed?

Don't boast of your grit till you've tried it out,
Nor prate to men of your courage stout,
For it's easy enough to retain a grin
In the face of a fight there's a chance to win,
But the sort of grit that is good to own
Is the stuff you need when you're all alone.
How much grit do you think you've got?
Can you turn from joys that you like a lot?
Have you ever tested yourself to know
How far with yourself your will can go?
If you want to know if you have grit,
Just pick out a joy that you like, and quit.

It's bully sport and it's open fight;
It will keep you busy both day and night;
For the toughest kind of a game you'll find
Is to make your body obey your mind.
And you never will know what is meant by grit
Unless there's something you've tried to quit.

Comments about On Quitting by Edgar Albert Guest

  • Gold Star - 37,008 Points * Sunprincess * (8/29/2015 1:22:00 PM)

    .............so amazing...it's very difficult to stop doing things we love with a passion...and this poem states it perfectly....great write ★ (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 29,047 Points Kim Barney (4/18/2015 3:14:00 PM)

    Guest has more than once been accused of being trite in his poetry, and sometimes he is, but there is some good advice here. Francis Lynch's comment is probably correct. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 50,921 Points Chinedu Dike (4/18/2015 1:55:00 PM)

    Lovely poem on Willpower, well articulated and nicely penned with depth of insight. I really enjoyed reading this great piece of poetry with beautiful rhyme scheme. Thanks for sharing. Please read my poem MANDELA - THE IMMORTAL ICON. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 8,453 Points Francis Lynch (4/18/2015 11:40:00 AM)

    Nailed it. My guess is Guest got it right. I like a poem that has me do a bit of research on the author's life. I'll wager it was smokes. Harder than booze. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 45,481 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (7/12/2014 8:01:00 AM)

    In the face of a grit there is a chance to win..... beautiful poem. (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: courage, joy, alone, night

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

[Hata Bildir]