Edmund Vance Cooke Poems

How Did You Die?

by Edmund Vance Cooke

‘How Did You Die?’ by Edmund Vance Cooke is a rhyming poem that tries to impart an idealized view of perseverance in life.

This is the poem that Edmund Vance Cooke is perhaps best known for. Thematically, it's a poem that seeks to imply the speaker's idealized values. While stylistically, it softens the didactic nature of the lesson with rhyme and figurative language, giving the lines a cadence that lends itself to the poem's quite inspiring words. It's easy to see why the poem has remained so memorable.

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way

With a resolute heart and cheerful?

Or hide your face from the light of day

With a craven soul and fearful?

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