Don’t Give Up! Poem Summary and Line by Line Explanation in English Class 6th


In the poem, “Don’t Give Up“ by Phoebe Cary, the importance of working with a determination and not giving up is brought forth. The poet speaks to the readers through this poem and tells them that giving up is not for the winners.

Stanza 1 

If you've tried and have not won,
Never stop for crying;
All's that's great and good is done
Just by patient trying.

In the first stanza, the poet tries to portray the message that giving up should not be an option. The poet says that even after trying if a person have not won, the person should never stop for crying. Giving up is for the quitters. Crying over something lost is not worth the time. By patient trying one will fulfill all that’s great. The poet tries to emphasis on the fact that not always will we win in a race, no matter how much effort we had put in. The poet says that it’s okay and that one should not cry over it but keep on trying and trying and not give up.

Stanza 2

Though young birds, in flying, fall,
Still their wings grow stronger;
And the next time they can keep
Up a little longer

In the second stanza, the poet uses the imagery of birds to show that giving up might look easy but one should avoid it. The poet says that young birds flying always falls at first. But the young birds do not give up. Instead they keep on trying till their wings grow stronger and they can fly a little longer. The natural instinct to not give up in the birds should be inculcated by us. There will be many times when we fall, out of exhaustion or even when we lose. But the poet urges us to keep on fighting and striving till we reach the pinnacle of our dreams.    

Stanza 3

Though the sturdy oak has known
Many a blast that bowed her,
She has risen again, and grown
Loftier and prouder.

In the third stanza, the poet takes the example of a sturdy oak. The poet says that an oak has been known to bear many a blast. Despite being bowed down again and again, the oak has risen and grown loftier and prouder. The poet wanted to show that despite all the hurdles and resistance, there will always be a growth. Each failures matter. It emphasizes the fact the failings are the steppingstones of success and not some thing to dwell upon and quit.    

Stanza 4 

If by easy work you beat,
Who the more will prize you?
Gaining victory from defeat
That's the test that tries you!

In the final stanza, the poet questions to readers that if easy work will beat the race,  is the prize of any value. The poet further answers the rhetorical question that gaining victory from defeat is the real prize. The real prize comes from facing all the obstacles and not wishing to give up, just because it was difficult. The poet emphasizes through this stanza that easy work will seem appealing to us but we should stick to our morals and try to gain victory from difficult obstacles that come in our life.  


Through this poem, the poet has tried to convey the message to the readers that one should not give up easily. One should powder through all the struggles, despite all the resistance and failures. One should count each failure as a blessing and remember that there is a growth in each step. Giving up should not be an option as it’s just for the quitters.