On Quitting

How much grit do you think you've got?
Can you quit a thing that you like a lot?
You may talk of pluck; it's an easy word,
And where'er you go it is often heard;
But can you tell to a jot or guess
Just how much courage you now possess?
You may stand to trouble and keep your grin,
But have you tackled self-discipline?
Have you ever issued commands to you
To quit the things that you like to do,
And then, when tempted and sorely swayed,
Those rigid orders have you obeyed?

Don't boast of your grit till you've tried it out,
Nor prate to men of your courage stout,
For it's easy enough to retain a grin
In the face of a fight there's a chance to win,
But the sort of grit that is good to own
Is the stuff you need when you're all alone.
How much grit do you think you've got?
Can you turn from joys that you like a lot?
Have you ever tested yourself to know
How far with yourself your will can go?
If you want to know if you have grit,
Just pick out a joy that you like, and quit.

It's bully sport and it's open fight;
It will keep you busy both day and night;
For the toughest kind of a game you'll find
Is to make your body obey your mind.
And you never will know what is meant by grit
Unless there's something you've tried to quit.

by Edgar Albert Guest

Other poems of GUEST (973)

Comments (8)

Don't boast of your grit till you've tried it out, Nor prate to men of your courage stout, .....well expressed. very nice composition.
Summary of the poem
Quitting something that we like and against our will needs a lot grit. Loved the poem for its sweet flow and that motivation it provides to kick off bad habits that we like and often cling to.
.............so amazing...it's very difficult to stop doing things we love with a passion...and this poem states it perfectly....great write ★
Guest has more than once been accused of being trite in his poetry, and sometimes he is, but there is some good advice here. Francis Lynch's comment is probably correct.
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