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How did you die?

Edmund Vance Cooke

About The Author

Edmund Vance Cooke, born on June 5 in Port Dover, Canada and died on December 18, 1932 was popularly known as The poet of Childhood. He started his career as a worker in White Sewing Machine Co. Factory at the age between 13 to 14 years and served for 14 years in the factory. Later he was self employed as poet and lecturer in 1893.His first book of poem A Patch of Pansies (1894). He was married to Lilith Castleberry in 1989 and had five children. He has published 16 books in which most of them are verse. He had also contributed his poems to WWJ radio station, Detroit News in 1920. His poem “How did you die?” was published in 1903. His other well known works are Impertinent Poems, Chronicles of the Little Tot, I Rule the House, The Story Club and others.

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About The Poem

Edmund Vance Cooke through the poem How did you die motivates and inspires readers to reason out life and understand it’s purpose. The poem seems to be justification for one’s life. Through the poem Edmund tries to show readers that life is more significant than death. One should live his life to the fullest facing all the challenges and defeat as stepping stone of success. Even if one gains constant failures, it is he who should give his best and battle until the last moment of life before death takes away his life.

The poem also speaks about how to admit trouble, it’s nature, to recover from defeat and to fight back hundred percent until the curtain rises. The poem helps reader to sled introspect his life and produces sufficient impetus for motivation. The worth of life is conceptualised in the poem.

How did you die?

by:  Edmund Vance Cooke

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?


Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce,

Or a trouble is what you make it,

And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,

But only how did you take it?


You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that?

Come up with a smiling face.

It's nothing against you to fall down flat,

But to lie there -- that's disgrace.


The harder you're thrown, why the higher you bounce;

Be proud of your blackened eye!

It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts,

It's how did you fight -- and why?


And though you be done to the death, what then?

If you battled the best you could,

If you played your part in the world of men,

Why, the Critic will call it good.


Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,

And whether he's slow or spry,

It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts,

But only how did you die

'कोई आया था'

Transcreated by
'Ambar' Kharbanda

जब कोई आई परेशानी तुम्हारे सामने
सच बताओ तुमने उसका सामना कैसे किया?
तुमने उससे मुंह छुपाया या के पूरे होश से
पूरा- पूरा दिल लगाकर इक जवाब उसको दिया

(सच बताओ तुमने उसका सामना कैसे किया?)

चाहे हो कितनी बड़ी उलझन या वो छोटी सी हो
यह तो बस दिल से तुम्हारे सोचने की बात है
और तुमको चोट पहुंची हो तो वो भी कुछ नहीं
तुमने उलझन को संभाला किस तरह ,वो बात है
(चाहे हो कितनी बड़ी उलझन या वो छोटी सी हो
यह तो बस दिल से तुम्हारे सोचने की बात है)

और अगर सोचो के तुम गिर भी गए तो क्या हुआ
गिर के फिर उठ जाओगे ऐसी तुम्हारी शान है
हां, अगर उठने की तुमने आरजू ही छोड़ दी
फिर तो समझो ये तुम्हारे नाम का अपमान है
(गिर के फिर उठ जाओगे ऐसी तुम्हारी शान है)

जितनी गहरी चोट थी तुम उतने ही फिर जोश से
उठ के आए सामने ,हालात को सुलझा लिया
तुम लड़े कैसे यही है देखने की बात बस 
तुम गिरे कितनी दफा ,इस बात से होता है क्या
(उठ के आए सामने ,हालात को सुलझा लिया)

और फिर जिस दिन तुम्हारी जिंदगी की शाम हो
कैसे तुम ने जंग की, बस ये ही देखा जाएगा
सब सराहेंगे तुम्हारी कोशिशों की धार को
तुम कहीं कमजोर थे, कोई नहीं कह पाएगा
(कैसे तुम ने जंग की, बस ये ही देखा जाएगा)

चाहे धीरे - धीरे चल कर, या झपट्टा मारकर

मौत तो आनी ही है ,जब आएगी, तब आएगी
कोई आया था...गया! अब ये भी क्या किस्सा हुआ!
हम गए कैसे यही एक दास्तां रह जाएगी
(हम गए कैसे यही एक दास्तां रह जाएगी)

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