It Couldn’t Be Done

It Couldn’t Be Done
By 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, and he did it!

 

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;

At least no one ever 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,

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 in with a bit of a grin,

Just take off your coat and go to it;

Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing

That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.


About the author

(Except from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/edgar-albert-guest)

Edgar Albert Guest [1881 – 1959] was a British-born U.S. writer whose poems were widely read during the first half of the 20th century. Guest’s family relocated from Warwickshire, England to the United States in 1891, when Guest was 10 years old.

Edgar Guest began his career at the Detroit Free Press in 1895, where he first worked as a copyboy. He was soon promoted to police writer and later to exchange editor, and in 1904 he began writing verse for the Free Press under the heading “Chaff.” Those columns evolved into an immensely popular daily feature entitled “Breakfast Table Chat,” which, at the height of its popularity, was syndicated in about 300 other newspapers. In 1916 Guest published A Heap O’ Livin’, a collection of verse that eventually sold more than 1,000,000 copies. That work was followed by Just Folks (1918), Rhythms of Childhood (1924), Life’s Highway (1933), and Living the Years (1949).

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