The Will to Win by Berton Braley

In this post I am discussing an outstanding inspirational poem, “The Will to Win” by Berton Braley. I have selected this great poem for two reasons, the first is the message in the poem which is greatly inspirational and I completely love it and second is the manner the poem is composed; is so simple and easy to understand. I hope you will appreciate and post your remarks.

The Will to Win by Berton Braley

The Will to Win by Berton Braley

Central Idea: ‘The Will to Win’ by Berton Braley is an inspirational poem on the fervent desire in pursuing a personal goal with relentless and consuming passion. The poem tells us if you take hold of and focus all that you are upon what it is that you want, then ultimately, ‘you will get it.

The poet urges us to give up time, peace and sleep in order to work towards the most important thing in your life. All else is supposed to take second place. Lose all fears of any kind, come what may be. If you show the courage, faith, and trust, then nothing will stop you from getting what you want.

Summary of The Will to Win by Berton Braley

The poem is full of wonderful and inspirational words from start to end. The poem is about a fervent desire in which the poet in his beautiful and simple style exhorts the reader that if you have a strong desire to achieve anything, you will definitely achieve it.

The poet states that if you want a thing sufficiently awful and go out and battle for it, constantly work hard day and night for it and surrender your precious time and your tranquillity and your comfort for it.

If the desire just makes you distraught and if you never feel worn out on it and if for you all other things become tawdry and cheap for it.

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If your life appears unfilled and futile without it and if you plan and dream about it. If you are gleefully ready to sweat for it, to worry for it, if you remove every fear of God and man for it.

In the event that you’ll simply pursue that thing you desperately desire with all your ability, quality, and intelligence, confidence, expectation, and certainty, determination, pertinacity and if neither chilly cold, nor poverty nor ailment nor suffering of body and mind dismisses you and the desire you want and above all if you are determined and stern for it you will definitely get it.

Appreciation of the poem ‘The Will to Win’

The poem, ‘The Will to Win’ has been written by Berton Braley. The title of the poem suggests that it is about the preconditions for success. The poem is written in a free-verse format which is the reason why the rhyme scheme is irregular and does not have a fixed pattern. The figures of speech beautifying the poem are Alliteration, Antithesis, Climax, Repetition and Tautology. An example of Tautology from the extract is “seems useless and worthless without it” where two words ‘useless’ and ‘worthless’ having the same meaning i.e. ‘meaningless’ are used in the same line. The central idea of the poem highlights the criteria for achieving success. The poet believes that success is the result of persistent struggle, relentless pursuit of one’s goal and unyielding determination. One must toil without giving up and only then with the blessings of God, can one succeed.

Special Highlights of the Poem

➡ The poem is inspirational. It contains very rich ideas for personality traits and circumstances that help one to get success.
➡ The poem ignites our brain. It motivates us that if you have the fervent desire to get anything, no one can stop you.

➡ The poem also tells us what we shall do or avoid in order to achieve success.

➡ The poem is full of powerful words such as fight capacity, strength, sagacity, faith, hope, and confidence, stern pertinacity, dogged

➡ The poem states that we have to give up so many things if we want our desires to come true.

➡ This poem inspires to keep on striving for success. If you have a will to achieve something incredible you will achieve it by your sincere efforts.

➡Above all, the poem is not beating around the bush. It is written in simple words that every can anyone. It doesn’t need to be examining and re-examining.

➡The poet has repeated that pronoun ‘it’ in most of the lines and in all instances at the end of the line. The repetition has been used at some other places also such as “Give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it,”.

Read Also: The Road Not Taken

The Will to Win by Berton Braley

Analysis of the poem

This poem gives us the formula for success. The poem provokes us to build up a battling spirit so as to fight negative forces coming in the way of success. The poem spurs us to work ceaselessly in order to acquire sure success.

The poem has no rhyme scheme but rhymes are used randomly all through the poem. The most common type is in lines ending with the word “it”, for example, “for it, of it, without it, about it, beget it, sweat for it, fret for it and so on”. Other examples are ” capacity, pertinacity, sagacity, and pain, brain”.

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The main figure of speech used in the poem is repetition. There is an abundance of “for it” phrases throughout the poem.

This is a motivational poem. It motivates one to target and achieve goals. The poem is rich in ideas for personality traits and circumstances that aid to achieve success. All the lines of the poem are very forceful encouraging us to be persistent and to keep on striving for success. My favourite line of the poem is:

If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it,
You’ll get it!

This line is very powerful alliteration. It motivates to resist forcefully with our efforts in order to achieve success.

Questions and Answers

1. Complete the following sentences by choosing the correct alternatives.

i. When you want something badly, you must go out and _______.

A. search for it B. purchase it

C. think about it D. fight for it.

Ans. D. Fight for it

ii. When you want something badly, life without it seems _______.

A. cheap and inexpensive B. useless and worthless. C. sad and pathetic D. dull and unattractive

Ans. B. useless and worthless.

2. Find lines from the poem as proof for the following:

i. toil hard happily

ii. get rid of all fears


i. “If you gladly sweat for, fret for and plan for it”
ii. “Lose all your terror of the opposition for it.”

3. Pick out an example of Antithesis from the extract.

Ans. An example of Antithesis from the extract is,

“work day and night for it”

4. Give the antonyms of the following words from the extract:

i. weakness
ii. despair
Ans. i. strength ii. hope

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