Don't Quit PoemA short time after learning of the cancer's return, Lynnette, a former girlfriend, sent Joe a poem titled Don't Quit. Joe read this poem aloud to classmates in his Rhetoric 160 class which he enrolled in for the Winter quarter of 1977. Later that year in June, during the graduation ceremonies Joe would have participated in, his friend Holly Zamzow (a varsity Cal women's tennis player) read this poem to the gathered audience.
Don't QuitWhen things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out,
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit –
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
On September 2, 2010, Jack Clark, Cal rugby head coach and former teammate of Joe's, reads the Don't Quit poem as part of the Lunch Poems Series held every first Thursday of the month at Morrison Library. Clark's reading of Don't Quit is only the third documented time that the poem has been recited on the Cal campus. [Click photo below for link to video]