Trouble is what you make it
Have you ever noticed how great poetry inspires at the same time it challenges? How it lifts your spirits while addressing topics which are -hmmm, shall we say, "downers"? I appreciate the juxtaposition of assorted poetry voices.
This poem by Edmund Vance Cooke is a classic for a reason and feels particularly apt today when so many people aren't feeling so "super" about what happened Tuesday.
So take in these lines slowly.
Maybe you'll be uplifted. But maybe you won't. Your take will be "what you make it."
How Did You Die?
Did you tackle that trouble that came your way With a resolute heart and cheerful? Or hide your face from the light of day With a craven soul and fearful? Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce, Or a trouble is what you make it, And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts, But only how did you take it?
You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that! Come up with a smiling face. It's nothing against you to fall down flat, But to lie there-that's disgrace. The harder you're thrown, why the higher you bounce Be proud of your blackened eye! It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts; It's how did you fight-and why?
And though you be done to the death, what then? If you battled the best you could, If you played your part in the world of men, Why, the Critic will call it good. Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce, And whether he's slow or spry, It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts, But only how did you die?
- Edmund Vance Cooke