“Can’t” – The People’s Poet – Edgar Guest

Some poems are life changing and this is one if them.  Edgar Guest was known as the people’s poet and this is why.  There’s not much to say here— “can’t” gives birth to “won’t” who fathers “didn’t” who dies with “remorse.” Put can’t in the recycle bin and delete it!  What resonates with you in this poem?  As always—Stay with Sharon and The Write Talk!  Talk to you soon.

Can’t by Edgar Guest

Can’t is the worst word that’s written or spoken;
Doing more harm here than slander and lies;
On it is many a strong spirit broken,
And with it many a good purpose dies.
It springs from the lips of the thoughtless each morning
And robs us of courage we need through the day:
It rings in our ears like a timely-sent warning
And laughs when we falter and fall by the way.

Can’t is the father of feeble endeavor,
The parent of terror and half-hearted work;
It weakens the efforts of artisans clever,
And makes of the toiler an indolent shirk.
It poisons the soul of the man with a vision,
It stifles in infancy many a plan;
It greets honest toiling with open derision
And mocks at the hopes and the dreams of a man.

Can’t is a word none should speak without blushing;
To utter it should be a symbol of shame;
Ambition and courage it daily is crushing;
It blights a man’s purpose and shortens his aim.
Despise it with all of your hatred of error;
Refuse it the lodgment it seeks in your brain;
Arm against it as a creature of terror,
And all that you dream of you some day shall gain.

Can’t is the word that is foe to ambition,
An enemy ambushed to shatter your will;
Its prey is forever the man with a mission
And bows but to courage and patience and skill.
Hate it, with hatred that’s deep and undying,
For once it is welcomed ’twill break any man;
Whatever the goal you are seeking, keep trying
And answer this demon by saying: “I can.”

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About sharonsbooks

I am a practical and contemporary urban writer who focuses on readers/participants who are high school age youth and adults. Although I currently write fiction and poetry, I am inspired to write about social and political issues in the sometimes subtle and other times blatant way that they are present in our everyday lives. I love humor and I strive to expand the thought process and create positive change. I realize today, in the scheme of things, that I know only a little. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t share what I’ve learned as I continue to develop my own growth process. In all my writings, I’ve always sought to convey a message from my spiritual center. This keeps me broad-minded regarding diversity and a willingness to learn from anyone and everyone.
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