Let’s Memorize a Poem

When we first started homeschooling we memorized several poems.  Those sweet poems  still live in our hearts.  And then we stopped.  What?  Why?  I don’t remember.  But I do know that new poems will become part of us this fall.  And I can’t wait. In the age of google and Siri, rarely do people memorize things anymore.  Why bother?  They can just google it.  But it’s different when a poem lives inside you.  It can comfort, encourage, inspire.

So, in honor of the Olympics and amazing athletes I wanted a poem that spoke to persevering, to doing really hard things, and to not giving up when the naysayers come.  Can you tell I’m simply bursting to start school?

This first poem I found in this book.  (It’s an affiliate link)

And it’s absolutely delightful!

It’s by Edgar Albert Guest and known to be in print as early as 1917.  He was born in Britain but grew up in America.  According to allpoetry.com “he worked most of his adult life as a newspaperman, syndicated country wide and is reputed to have had a new poem published in a newspaper every day for over 30 years”.  Did you catch that?  A new poem EVERY DAY FOR OVER 30 YEARS!!  Amazing!

So, here it is.  I hope you will join our family as we memorize this wonderful poem.

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 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 it in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That “couldn’t be done,” and you’ll do it


Pretty awesome, right?  Can’t you feel the American Spirit in this poem?

Join us!  Print It –It Couldn’t Be Done.  If not, what poems will you be memorizing this fall?  I’d love to jot them down. Don’t forget to follow me so that you will get all my enrichment ideas for this school year.  And like us on Facebook.



6 thoughts on “Let’s Memorize a Poem

  1. Ooo! I’m going to use this poem next! We are currently working on “What the Winds Bring” by Lillian Cox.

    Comes the north wind, snowflakes bringing:
    Robes the fields in purest white,
    paints grand houses, trees, and mountains
    On our window-panes at night.

    Hills and vales the east wind visits,
    Brings them chilly, driving rain;
    Shivering cattle homeward hurry,
    Onward through the darkening lane.

    Heat the south wind kindly gives us;
    Reddens apples, gilds the pear,
    Gives the grape a richer purple,
    Scatters plenty everywhere.

    Flowers sweet the west wind offers,
    Peeping forth from vines and trees;
    Brings the butterflies so brilliant,
    And the busy, humming bees.

    Each wind brings his own best treasure
    To our land from year to year;
    Blessings many without measure
    E’er attend the winds’ career.


  2. Love it!! We read poetry but never get around to memorizing any due to Bible verse priority. But they know every Tim Hawkins song! Lol. Doesn’t quite compare 😉 lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love it too, Cheryl! It really speaks to my heart right now. I’m not sure how long it will take us to memorize but I’m hopeful just a month. I heard my son memorizing a rap song the other day and I knew we needed some wonderful poetry in addition to our scripture memory.


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