Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Poem: Edgar A Guest


I know this poem is corny and cheesy (do the younger generation still use that word?) but I like it.  And who says that corny and cheesy must be looked down upon.  In an age where people increasingly talk to each other by emailing, texting, tweeting and facebooking, where personal contact is decreasing and where technology advances daily, is there less need and respect for simple homespun values and philosophies?  I hope not but if it is the case, then it is because we have let it happen. 

It Couldn’t Be Done

Edgar Albert Guest

Somebody said that it couldn't be done,
But, he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn't" but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, as he did it

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that;
At least no one we know has done it";
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit, (1)
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle right in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That cannot be done, and you'll do it

Edgar A Guest (1881 – 1959) was an English born, American poet whose simple, optimistic poems earned him the nickname The People’s Poet.  Guest penned some 11,000 poems which were syndicated in 300 newspapers and collected in more than 20 books,

Noted wit Dorothy Parker once said of his poetry:
"I'd rather flunk my Wasserman test (2)
Than read the poetry of Edgar Guest."
(1)   Not the sport played by wizards and witches  at Hogwarts, which is Quidditch, but a word whose meaning has come to be mental reservation.
(2)   An antibody test for syphilis.

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