“On Quitting”

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.
Thank you, Again,

~ by Step On a Crack on February 13, 2012.

13 Responses to ““On Quitting””

  1. Great stuff. Giving up can be easy, on some things. But when it’s a thing you love and need, the quitting gets hard.


  2. 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?
    Wowie! What a poem! Thanks so much for this. Will share with doh, asap. 🙂
    You know, Jesus was harsh with the Pharisees for making requirements of their recruits that they, themselves, were not willing to live up to. Hmm. Lotsa that goin’ on.
    Me? I can quit ANYTHING for a few minutes. Sighs. I used to be better, follow through better. Does the will power weaken with everything else in old age? Best to get good habits ingrained before then, huh?


    • Excellent point! Developing good habits makes it much harder for rotten habits to appear.

      I have heard that it takes 22 days to create a positive habit. I just might try that. Build a wall of more new good habits; kinda like a moat around my castle.

      Good point!


  3. Thanks for sharing this thought provoking poem! I have been giving myself “grit” talks lately. The poem will help hold my feet to the fire. 🙂


  4. And you never will know what is meant by grit
    Unless there’s something you’ve tried to quit.

    NO KIDDING!!! Thanks, Jen. I facebooked it!


  5. […] We have strong desires that we refuse to deny. […]


  6. Quitting the things that should be quit, all folks know something about. Only those of us who couldn’t do it ourselves, get the grit. I can’t remember reading this before, but I do remember his Creed – so fitting that the words of a transparent man would be so honestly shared. Thanks, Jen.

    My Creed
    To live as gently as I can;
    To be, no matter where, a man;
    To take what comes of good or ill
    And cling to faith and honor still;
    To do my best, and let that stand
    The record of my brain and hand;
    And then, should failure come to me
    Still work and hope for victory.
    To have no secret place wherein
    I stoop unseen to shame or sin;
    To be the same when I’m alone
    As when my every deed is known;
    To live undaunted, unafraid
    Of any step that I have made;
    To be without pretense or sham,
    Exactly what men think I am.
    To leave some simple mark behind,
    To keep my having lived in mind;
    If enmity to aught I show,
    To be an honest, generous foe,
    To play my little part, nor whine
    That greater honors are not mine.
    This, I believe, is all I need
    For my philosophy and creed.


    • Oh this is lovely!

      It made me cry. My mom loved the Desiderata . I don’t think she could live it BUT this reminds me that the fact she wanted that in her life means a lot too..

      Thank you for Sharing this!

      You share so easily. It Is in your blood isn’t it!!??

      XO Jen


  7. Edgar Guest! My family’s Poet Laureate! “My Pa Said So” was my Grandfather’s favorite poem and he read it to us frequently. It almost broke my heart when, years later, i found out he was an object of ridicule in poetry circles…

    Thanks for the post, m’dear!


    • “Family Poet Laureate” I LOVE that! Thoreau is probably our Writer Laureate (well you know…)

      I often HATE the Poetry community! I have more of a home with the Poetry Slam Tribe. There is SO much pretension in the ‘regular’ Poet Land and it is all only so much hot air. Some of my favorite poets are ‘hacks’ when some of the ‘best poets’ are writing only for a teeny pretentious group. I love Poetry Magazine and find a lot of new Poets I like. I LOVE reading the asinine letters to the editors. They crack me up with their wonky judgements.


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