It Couldn't Be Done
An Inspirational Poem About Determination
by Edgar A. Guest

It Couldn't Be Done - a poem about determination

I remember visiting my father's office as a child and seeing the framed text of Edgar A. Guest's "It Couldn't Be Done" hung proudly on his wall. I was young enough that I couldn't read all the text, so my father read it aloud for me.

Click to the poem.

I got it. This was not only a very important poem - to be hung on my father's wall - but it also contained a message, a philosophy.

I'd say that in this day and age of instant riches and "getting paid" instead of "working for a living," the poem has more relevance than ever.

This poem is in the public domain, so please feel free to use it! And remember, even though Guest used the pronoun he, it works just as well with she.

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 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 it 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 "couldn’t be done," and you’ll do it.

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