It Couldn’t Be Done… or Could It?

It Couldn't Be Done Poem

It Couldn't Be Done | free printable poem for memorizingEvery day before lunch, I gather my children around me in the living room and read aloud to them for an hour or so. Together, we study science, history, and literature, but before we delve into any of those subjects, we usually read and discuss a little poetry.

We recently came across a poem we especially liked, so we memorized it. Even our little three-year-old chimes in on every fourth or fifth word when she hears her siblings quoting it.

The poem speaks of grit and determination and a willingness to face challenges and work hard — all qualities we admire and want to encourage in ourselves and our children:

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.

It’s a quick poem to memorize. I designed a little printable version for my kids to keep in their notebooks, and thought I’d share it here, in case your family might like to learn it, too.

It Couldn't Be Done Poem

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