What Is the "Don't Quit" Poem?

"Don't Quit" is an inspirational poem about the value of pressing on in the face of adversity. Its author is unknown, although there are many theories as to who wrote it.

"Don't Quit" begins with a description of how a person might feel when faced with a difficult situation, paired with the encouragement not to quit. It goes on to talk about the fact that success might be much closer than a person might expect, and that if that person keeps on trying, they might reach their goal sooner than they think. It is intended to provide inspiration for people who feel that they are too tired, depressed or outmatched to continue with their current course. Some versions of the poem change a few lines, and some have a fifth verse believed to have been contributed by a different author than the poet who wrote the first four verses.

The authorship of "Don't Quit" is debated. Possible authors include a nineteen-year-old man named Ben Lief in 1920, a 15-year-old girl named Alice Enzie Zimmerman in 1948, and a hospitalized man named Frank Collins in 1952. Other people have made claims on the Internet that they wrote "Don't Quit". None of these claims have been proven. The poem is sometimes attributed to Edgar Albert Guest, a poet who immigrated to the US from England. Although he wrote a very similar poem called "See It Through", he is not the author of "Don't Quit". Because the poem's author has never been identified, it is registered as belonging to the public domain.