Posts Tagged 'failure'

Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin – II

If you meet life squarely, you are likely to make mistakes, do things you wish you hadn’t, say things you wish you could retract or phrase more felicitously, and, in short, fumble your way along. Those “mature” people whose lives are even without a single sour note or a single mistake, who never fumble, manage only at the cost of original thought and original action. They do without the successes as well as the failures.

Panshin, Alexei. Rite of Passage. Boston: Gregg, 1976.


History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer

No one was ever buried in the failed [Medium] Pyramid. Nor did the tiny, windowless temple at the end of the causeway really strike anyone as a spectacular achievement. A few centuries later, some Egyptian wandering past the drab little box scribbled on it “The Beautiful Temple of King Snefru,” the first example of sarcastic graffiti in history.
Bauer, S. Wise. “The First Victory over Death.” The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome. New York: W.W. Norton, 2007. 82. Print.


It Couldn’t Be Done by Edgar Albert Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

Gardner, Martin. “It Couldn’t Be Done.” Best Remembered Poems. New York: Dover Publications, 1992.