Monday, July 29, 2013



On Quitting 

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.


  1. Brings my struggle with cigarettes to mind. Eventually, I was able to quit, once the aids came around. It will be 20 years this coming Christmas and I have never missed them. Not once. Grit didn't work though, I needed Nicorette gum.

    1. I, too, had that same struggle and I'm so glad that I won that battle especially after witnessing my husband's death from lung cancer.

  2. "Don't quit" usually makes me think of never giving up on striving toward writing goals, not in giving up things I like. This poem made me think differently. I have quit many, many things I like for health reasons, but dark chocolate remains. I rationalize its benefits until I convince myself I NEED it. Maybe one day...

    1. Let's not get crazy! We all NEED dark chocolate, Kathy!

  3. I really enjoyed this. By far it takes more courage to quit something you actually like than something you don't. Sometimes it is just as challenging to keep going, and in that you find your strength.


  4. Love this poem. It's so true. The only way I can know how strong I am is to push my limits and keep going...

  5. "For the toughest kind of a game you’ll find
    Is to make your body obey your mind."
    I loved this line. Thanks for sharing.