I Will Go On

TITLE:  I Will Go On

AUTHOR: Gianna Giusti



Samuel Beckett, and subsequently Justine Van Meter expressed the sentiment: “I can’t go on…I’ll go on.” At the moment that we think we are extinguished we find within us the power to carry on. Each creature that reaches its limits finds then that their limits are expanded. A limit is a horizon that is never reached. The imagery is that of desperation, using within lines the the well known stories of Atlas and Odysseus who underwent great trials but did not give up. Other lines refer simply to natural instances of decline and despair. The repetition of the phrase “I can’t go on” expresses the hopelessness of an individual. The poem does not end in a beacon of hope, there is no solution to any of the scenarios presented, each creature, however, continues to be, which is both truly miraculous and hopeful. Limits are a mentality that proves false each day.


I am a cat declawed and fur erect,

I am the titan struggling with the sky.

My hands are crippled casualties—hen pecked,

My muscles are eternally to cry.

I can’t go on

I am a tempest raging through the night,

I am the owl, wide eyes shining dark.

My soul is wind and worry—constant plight,

My wings beat bleeding broken, natures mark.

I can’t go on

I am a cardboard puzzle all apart,

I am the aged weary man—too frail.

My pieces strewn across the floor, my heart,

My ancient limbs are doomed, and doomed to fail.

I can’t go on

I am a fuse, a tale, a myth, a life.

I am the mighty man who strove for home.

My chaos and my energy a knife.

My dream a bed of trees as I do roam.

I can’t go on

                            I will go on.

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