Don't Quit - Strength in Poetry

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

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 strange with its twists and turns

As every one of us sometimes learns

And many a failure comes about

When he might have won had he stuck it out;

Don't give up though the pace seems slow—

You may succeed with another blow.


Success is failure turned inside out—

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell just how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far;

So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit—

It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.


For all the sad words of tongue or pen

The saddest are these: “It might have been!”


John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)


This year has brought much uncertainty. Everyday can feel a little harder and it’s important that we acknowledge that. It’s hard to look on the bright side, especially since we’re experiencing shorter days, gloomy weather and being isolated from friends and family. It’s become much easier to lose that “can do attitude” and for a lot of us, we may have felt like we have lost it. Whoever you may be, try to take on everyday with a “don’t quit attitude”.


It’s harder than it sounds, which is why this poem written by the poet, John Greenleaf Whittier, acts as a reminder to keep our heads up when faced with difficulty. I’d like to dedicate this to each one of us who are yearning for success yet are experiencing hardship along the way. We will get to where we want to be and for those who may feel that they are nearing or are at the top - embrace the feeling, but never stop growing.


Finally, with nearly two weeks to go till we have our much needed Christmas holiday, let’s use this message of resilience and strength Whittier tells us about to give us that final push in the right direction.


Also, don’t forget to enter the LAET Photography Competition run by the team at ‘Tottenham’s Our Canvas’ on the topic of ‘The Everyday’. You can submit up to 3 photos and make sure to write a small paragraph explaining your chosen image(s). The deadline is the 31st of December. There will be a prize for the best photograph, so, get snapping!


By Maryam Ahmed, Editor and Writer for ‘Tottenham’s Our Canvas’, the arts sub-magazine of ‘The Tottenham Phoenix’

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