See It Through

See It Through

by Edgar Albert Guest

 When you’re up against a trouble,
Meet it squarely, face to face;
Lift your chin and set your shoulders,
Plant your feet and take a brace.
When it’s vain to try to dodge it,
Do the best that you can do;
You may fail, but you may conquer,
See it through!

Black may be the clouds about you
And your future may seem grim,
But don’t let your nerve desert you;
Keep yourself in fighting trim.
If the worst is bound to happen,
Spite of all that you can do,
Running from it will not save you,
See it through!

Even hope may seem but futile,
When with troubles you’re beset,
But remember you are facing
Just what other men have met.
You may fail, but fall still fighting;
Don’t give up, whate’er you do;
Eyes front, head high to the finish.
See it through!

Summary of See It Through

  • Popularity of “See It Through”: “See It Through” is a motivational poem written by Edgar Albert Guest, a British-born US poet. He was also known as People’s Poet. The poem first appeared in 1917 as part of his collection titled, Just Folk Tales. The poem quickly won popularity due to an encouraging lesson of perseverance and resilience for a man in the face of challenges. The timeless nature of the message has ensured its enduring popularity, making it a favorite among students and teachers alike. The poem is still considered his masterpiece.
  • “See It Through” As a Representative of Will-Power: “See It Through” is a representative of the indomitable human spirit. The poem presents the essence of determination, resilience, and unwavering commitment to one’s goals. It also shows the mindset of individuals who refuse to forsake their stance in the face of adversity and choose to stay persevere and overcome obstacles at every cost. Guest’s beautiful imagery and simple language appeal to people from all walks of life regardless of their circumstances or challenges. As a representative of the human spirit, “See It Through” reminds its readers that with unwavering resolve and a steadfast attitude, people can overcome hurdles. It serves as a timeless source of inspiration, encouraging individuals to stay steadfast at odds.
  • Major Themes in “See It Through”: “See It Through” demonstrates the major themes of perseverance, resilience, and determination. The poem encourages its readers to face troubles head-on, demonstrating one’s best effort and not giving up due to the fear of failure. The very first verse shows this spirit when it encourages the readers to stand up against troubles, emphasizing the need to be ready and determined. The second stanza highlights the adversities and their challenging circumstances, but the advice from Guest is again the same to face it and not give up. The final stanza again touches upon perseverance and determination, advising the readers to remember to face the challenges and failures but also remember never to give up and “see it through” to success.

Analysis of Literary Devices Used in See It Through

literary devices are tools that writers use to convey their emotions, ideas, and themes to make the texts appealing to the readers. Albert Guest also employed some literary devices in this poem to show the power of a positive attitude. The analysis of some literary devices used in this poem are below.

  1. Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line, such as the sound of /a/ in “Plant your feet and take a brace”; “Don’t let your nerve desert you” (line 11) shows the repetition of the /e/ sound creating harmonious effects.
  2. Alliteration: It is the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words. For example, “Meet it squarely, face to face (line 2) shows the repetition of the /f/ sound creates a rhythmic effect and emphasizes the gloomy atmosphere surrounding the subject. It repeats in line 21.
  3. Enjambment: It is defined as a thought or clause that does not come to an end at a line break; instead, it moves over the next line. For example,

“But remember you are facing
Just what other men have met.”

  1. Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line, such as the sound of /l/ in “You may fail but fall still fighting” and the sound of /t/ in “Plant your feet and take a brace.”; “Even hope may seem but futile” shows the repetition of /m/ sound that creates harmonious effects.
  2. Imagery: Imagery is used to make readers perceive things involving their five senses. For example, “Lift your chin and set your shoulders”; “Plant your feet and take a brace” and “Keep yourself in fighting trim.”
  3. Hyperbole: It means exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally. For example, “Running from it will not save you” shows the use of exaggeration to emphasize that avoiding challenges will not lead to a solution.
  4. Personification: Personification is to give human qualities to inanimate objects. For example, the ‘troubles’ are personified in the opening lines of the poem.

“When you’re up against a trouble,
Meet it squarely, face to face.”

  1. Symbolism: Symbolism is the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities to give meanings different from their literal meanings. “Black clouds” are the symbols of problems a person faces in life. Additionally, eyes, face, shoulders, and other body parts show the poet imagining the indomitable spirit of a human being to face adversity.
  2. Metaphor: It is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between different objects. For example, “Plant your feet and take a brace.” Here, planting stands for preparing oneself for problems. The second example is in the first line of the second stanza “Black may be the clouds about you”. Here the ‘black clouds’ stands for the challenges of life; and “Keep yourself in fighting trim” shows that one should maintain a state of readiness, comparing it to being physically prepared for combat.

Analysis of Poetic Devices in “See It Through”

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is an analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  1. Diction: It is the choice and use of words in a literary work. The diction is not only formal but also poetic, with inspirational undertones.
  2. End Rhyme: The rhyming of words at the end of lines. For example, “face to face” and “take a brace” shows the words “face” and “brace” rhyming and providing a musical quality to the poem.
  3. Meter: It is the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry. For example, the poem follows a consistent pattern of iambs – one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable throughout.
  4. Rhyme Scheme: The pattern of rhyme in a poem, typically represented by letters. Example: The rhyme scheme of the poem is ABABCDCD in each of its three stanzas.
  5. Poem Type: “See It Through” is a motivational or inspirational poem as it encourages the readers to face challenges with determination and perseverance.
  6. Stanza: It means the division of lines in a poem, often separated by a space. The poem consists of three stanzas, each having eight verses.

Quotes to be Used

This quote is appropriate to use to encourage someone who may be feeling overwhelmed by a problem or obstacle. It could remind them to face the trouble directly, without trying to avoid or escape it. It could also emphasize the importance of confronting challenges with determination and a strong mindset.

“When you’re up against a trouble,
Meet it squarely, face to face;
Lift your chin and set your shoulders,
Plant your feet and take a brace.”

The lines stated below can be used to encourage the children to complete any task or project. These can also be used in a speech to teach them the lessons of life.

“Don’t give up, whate’er you do;
Eyes front, head high to the finish.”