Famous Inspirational Poem

In Edgar A. Guest's poem "Can't," the poet delivers a powerful message about the detrimental impact of the word "can't" on human potential. Through the use of vivid language and persuasive rhetoric, Guest portrays "can't" as a destructive force that weakens courage, hinders progress, and mocks aspirations. The poem employs strong imagery and personification to give life to the abstract concept of "can't," presenting it as a relentless enemy that must be despised and resisted. Guest's use of repetition, such as the recurring phrase "It springs from the lips," emphasizes the pervasive nature of the word and its insidious influence. By urging readers to reject "can't" and embrace determination and perseverance, the poem inspires a resilient mindset and serves as a call to action.

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Famous Poem


Edgar A. Guest By more Edgar A. 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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