Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Don't Quit Poem

If you've been on the internet for some time, like I have, you've most likely have run across an instance or two, where some individual is claiming to have written something that they didn’t write. Ah, .

Today’s Woman Writing Community has received and continues to receive numerous emails from individuals with claims of authorship to the “Don't Quit Poem.”

Now, there also have been several claims of authorship made throughout the internet for this poem that is believed to be in the public domain. One individual even went as far as to register dontquitpoem[dot] com. That same individual also sent me a number of harassing abusive emails, after I wrote an article about the poem. One email told my husband and I to go kill ,because the world wouldn't miss scum like us and another email sent by the same individual, was an invitation to come to New York, where he would personally kick the crap out of us both.

In my opinion, this guy needs more than anger management classes. What do you think?

The poem is believed to be in the public domain. The “Don’t Quit Poem” can be found on the back of St Jude Holy Cards, like the one pictured here.

In my possession is a keyring, with the poem on it. I received the keyring as a gift when I was in my teens.

Some of the claims received are, Jeff Lief reports that the poem was written by his father Ben Lief in 1929, when he was 19 years old. Kelly Burke claims the poem was written by her mother. Joe David Harrison and Gerard Haughey both claim to have written the poem. Robert Ellis claims the poem was written by his grandmother, Betty Naimo Rich of Wakefield MA. Tommy Collins claims the poem was written by his father, Frank Collins while in hospital in Birmingham in 1952. George Munchinsky claims that Alice Enzie Zimmerman wrote the poem in 1948 at the age of 15.

What never ceases to amaze me is just how far some individuals will go to have a piece of the pie.

Despite the claims, this poem is still one of my favorites. It reminds me not to give up. Quitters never win and winners never quit.

Don't Quit!

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you are trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but do not quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.

Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.

And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

- Anon

Rose DesRochers

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Anonymous said...

Well the person that wrote you these abusive e-mails, was a complete idiot and more unstable than tnt.

They were mad because you knew they didn't write it, and so they lashed out at you and Shawn and was so disrespectful and dispicable.

So many people try to lay claim to poems like this one, and when you get them caught in a lie they lash out like this idiot.

I'm sorry about this idiot my friend, he like a lot of others try to lay claim to something that isn't his.


Jonathan Bailey said...

The problem with claims that the poem is in the public domain is that, in the U.S. at least, copyright extends to seventy years past the death of the author. So, unless the poem can be shown to be well over 100 years old, odds are that SOMEONE owns the rights to it.

Who is, of course, another question and a similar situation came to light with the "Footprints in the sand" poem. Sad, in both cases, because the real author is probably opting to remain anonymous while dozens of others take credit for their work.

Rose DesRochers said...

Thank you Jonathan Bailey, you make some valuable points. I was told that the US Copyright Office recognizes the poem as Public Domain. I have yet to find if anyone does own rights to the poem.

Dear AL said...

I wrote that poem in a previous life!
Rose, you'll be hearing from my lawyers!

Feeling better!

Lord Matt said...

It is always a little sad when people do such harsh and silly things. Not only do they show themselves to be ignorant and with all the maners of a dead starfish but they demonstrate that they have missed the spirit in which the work was created.

I understand that most countries within the UN and many outside of it are subscribed to an international pact of copyright. As such it is yours untill you give it up but the moral right to be recognised as the source can never be taken or lost.

I also understand that regardless of copyright when significant doubt (as in the case of each poem mentioned) exists it is safe to treat the work as public domain as failure to act over a protracted period of time, while not removing the copyright, damages the ability to prove it.

Sadly the more popular the site the more crank callers you will get.

:phil: said...

I guess the internet makes it easier to uncover plagiarism. I don't claim to be a writer at all but I do use some things that I think are funny on my blog. I always give credit where credit is due. I hope you're not hasseled by that jerk anymore. You can use your sitemeter if he gets out of hand.
BTW: Great poem, I actually wrote it
(just kidding)

Peri said...

Wow. That was quite the email. Personal abuse and vulgarity are the first and last resort of the unintelligent and unimaginative. What is meant to be a blistering and devastating blow by the author is actually just a verbal fart. Hot air and a bad smell. Open a window and blow him away.

Rose DesRochers said...

Al, bring them on.
Matt, how true!
Phil, that's because you are a nice guy.
Peri, yes it was not very nice at all.