Monday, October 24, 2022



Edgar Albert Guest (1881 – 1959) was a British-born American poet who became known as the People's Poet. His poems often had an inspirational and optimistic view of everyday life.

Guest on his radio program, 1935.


His poems may not always be thought of as best,
They may not pass a fine literature test,
Dorothy Parker has expressed her detest*,
But here is another by Edgar A Guest

"I'd rather flunk my Wassermann test (the test for syphilis back then) than read a poem by Edgar Guest." - Dorothy Parker


See It Through

Edgar Guest

When you’re up against a trouble,
   Meet it squarely, face to face;
Lift your chin and set your shoulders,
   Plant your feet and take a brace.
When it’s vain to try to dodge it,
   Do the best that you can do;
You may fail, but you may conquer,
   See it through!

Black may be the clouds about you
   And your future may seem grim,
But don’t let your nerve desert you;
   Keep yourself in fighting trim.
If the worst is bound to happen,
   Spite of all that you can do,
Running from it will not save you,
   See it through!

Even hope may seem but futile,
   When with troubles you’re beset,
But remember you are facing
   Just what other men have met.
You may fail, but fall still fighting;
   Don’t give up, whate’er you do;
Eyes front, head high to the finish.
   See it through!


A reader’s comment on the website that posted the poem:

By Deborah M. Figueira, Toronto 3 years ago

Edgar Guest's poem caused me to reflect back to a situation where this poem would be best suited. In 2015, one of my daughter's best friend, a truly lovely girl, committed suicide at the age of 26. Maybe, just maybe, if only she could have read something like this minutes prior, she may have paused to ponder her decision, but it's difficult to assume. Depression can be insidious even for those who are aware of its presence in their life. Compounded by the daily stresses of toil and trouble, those afflicted can feel hopeless. This poem reminds us that just when you think you can no longer go on, a new day can bring new hope and new beginnings. See it through is a classic because each and every one of us, rich or poor, young or old, deal with our own stresses every day. Very worthy to see it through indeed!


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