It is not the critic who counts,
not the man who pronounces
how the strong man stumbled,
where the doer of deeds fumbled
or could have done them better.
Credit belongs to the man – the pacesetter
who is actually in the arena, in the mud;
whose face is marred by dust, sweat, and blood;
who strives valiantly; who errs, then
comes short again and again.
Tribute goes to him who knows
the great devotions and impose
himself to a worthy cause;
who, at the worst, if he fails, because
of daring greatly, at least fails honorably,
so that his place shall never be with those un-admirably
cold and timid souls whose retreat
endear them to know neither victory nor defeat.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | Spilledwoords | 2020

Photo by Attentie Attentie from Unsplash

This poem is an extract from Theodore Roosevelt (born October 27, 1858, New York, New York, U.S.—died January 6, 1919, Oyster Bay, New York), 26th president of the United States (1901–09), a writer, naturalist, and soldier. He won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1906 for mediating an end to the Russo-Japanese War (1904–05).

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