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”: This poem was written by Edgar Albert Guest, a popular American poet. ‘See it Through’ is a famous lyrical poem about facing obstacles with a positive attitude. This poem, having an artistic expression, was composed to detail the positive stance of the speaker toward life. It also illustrates how one can face the adversity of life.
  • “See It Through” As a Representative of Hope: As this poem is about the positive attitude, the poet suggests that one should remain victorious no matter how unfavorable the situation is. He suggests that we should not lose hope and stay positive, composed, unbowed and unafraid under challenging circumstances. He supports his arguments in the last stanzas where he states that we are not alone to face these terrible situations; other people also go through the same challenges in life. Therefore, it is only through optimism and inner strength; we can easily confront any challenge. Through the poem, the readers can see the upbeat attitude of the speaker.
  • Major Themes in “See It Through”: Encouragement and hope are the major themes in this poem. Throughout the poem, the speaker encourages the readers to go up against the challenges. He suggests that we should never allow any difficulty to underline our courage. We should always be prepared for the future challenges of life and should also possess enough strength to face them pride.

Analysis of Literary Devices 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 has also employed some literary devices in this poem to show the power of a positive attitude. The analysis of some of the literary devices used in this poem has been stated 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”.
  2. 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.”
  2. Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line with quick successions such as the sound of /h/ in “head high to the finish”.
  3. 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.”
  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 a 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.
  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 the 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.

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 the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  1. Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. There are three stanzas in this poem each comprises of seven lines. Seven-lined stanza is called a septet.
  2. End Rhyme: End Rhyme is used to make the stanza melodious. For example, “face/brace”, “grim/trim” and “met/beset.”
  3. Repetition: The repetition of the verse “See it through!”  has created a musical quality in the poem.
  4. Refrain: The lines that are repeated at some distance in the poems are called refrain. The verse, “See it through” is repeated with the same words, it has become a refrain as it has been repeated in all stanzas of the poem.

Quotes to be Used

  • The lines stated below can be used in motivational speeches to lift and offer courage to the people surrounded by problems.

“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.”