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Don’t Quit

Edgar A. Guest wrote this poem that seems apt now. I watch the students struggle each day with the end of the year coming. For a number they will transition into new schools and those that stay behind much change is around the corner. They seem apprehensive. I remind them daily that they will be able to stay in touch. Technology makes this world so different. We can pick up a phone or send a message via email, Facebook, or text. It would be easy to quit on the relationships they have built up over the year because they might not see each other daily.

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

Life is queer with its twists and turns.
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a fellow turns about when he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow – you may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than it seems to a faint and faltering man;
often the struggler has given up when he might have captured the victor’s cup;
and he learned too late when the night came down,
how close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out – the silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
and when you never can tell how close you are,
it may be near when it seems afar;
so stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit – it’s when things seem worst,
you must not quit.

About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

20 responses »

  1. YOur students are blessed to have such wonderful caring sensitive teacher.

  2. Inspiring as always πŸ™‚ I’m bloody glad you’re a teacher Ivon, I love hopping over to your page/gaff for a gander…Sweet Dreams…Love Dawny Xxx

  3. This is one of my favorite poems. It has almost become a motto or mantra for me, and is perfect for entrepreneurs too.

  4. I have the first part of this of an AA token and I never realised that there were more verses. It’s a beautifully encouraging poem. Thank you for sharing it.

  5. Congratulations, Ivon!

    I have nominated your blog for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

    More about this nomination is at

  6. talesfromthelou

    Good words Yvon. Reminds me of the Chinese saying “Most people quit when they are almost there”, you know, at the 90% mark. (paraphrasing)

  7. Professions for PEACE

    How wonderful Ivor! Thanks for sharing. I absolutely adore the writings of Edgar A. Guest and this poem is one of my all time favorites. Thank you again for your ongoing inspiration. Blessings, Gina


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