Q is for... (Don't) Quit

This week it's Q and I was struggling.  That is until I found a picture of a poster I'd snapped when we visited the museum in one of the casements of the Todt Battery in Audinghen near Cape Gris Nez in Pas de Calais which we visited back in June 2010.

So this week my Q is for (Don't) Quit!


Before I tell you more about the poem on the poster let me tell you about the museum.  It really was a fascinating and chilling place and not the sort of place I'd've expected to capture my interest, but it did.

The bunkers, made of reinforced concrete, were built by the Germans in World War II and the Todt Battery was one of the most important coastal fortifications of the Atlantic Wall.  There were four large Krupp guns (technical speak for 380mm calibre Krupp guns - which means nothing to me) which had a range of 55.7km.  When you consider the British coast is only 40 or so km away, it's a glimpse into what might have been...


There's lots of memorabilia there and it is quite strange at times, but it was an eye-opening experience for me and I'm glad I went (not least now because I've a Q to share!)

So back to the poem - it's generally thought to have been written by Edgar A Guest who published it as "Keep Going" in March 1921.  He was born in Birmingham in 1881 and aged 10 moved to Detroit with his family, working as a copy boy and then reporter at the Detroit Free Press.  He was a prolific poet, writing some 11,000 poems which appeared in both newspapers and books and he became known as the People's Poet.

He died in 1959 but his poems live on in commercials and in 2012 at BBC's SPOTY where "It couldn't be done" was recited by Idris Elba in celebration of Team GB and Paralympics GB as team of the year.

Although some of the language and words used are old-fashioned now, I think it's still a pretty inspirational poem: 

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
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 it's twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You might 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 slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown. 
Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt -
And 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 that you mustn't quit.

As usual I'm linking up with Charly over at PODCast so pop over there to see more Qs!