Introducing 'Don't Quit' Poem Author- G. Haughey

Monday, August 01, 2005

Don't Quit Poem Has An Author (Intro)

Does a somewhat, at least if not totally, famous poem deserve to have an equally endearing poet? And what if he or she was really just a regular average Joe or Joan? Hmmm. Word through the grapevine has it that "Don't Quit" indeed has an Author and 'he' knows who he is. But does anyone else? No. At least not outside of his immediate family, friends, and acquaintances. Like most of us right?

Well, the story goes that this young man by the name, Gerard Haughey, was a typical poet hobbyist. In other words he wrote poems here and there as a hobby. He says he always had a poem for his 'girlfriend', and admits that even his 'wife' now, has one! But Gerard's poem "Don't Quit", wasn't really written for the masses, "it just turned out that way" he says. The poem was well-intentioned from the start, this much is for sure but who knew it would grow to be so impressive in this very big world of ours? Not he!

Gerard worked at New York Hospital from 1992-1999 and says that somewhere, simetime, in between those years, he wrote 'Don't Quit' while working a night shift. The famous poem was no more famous than the other of the bunch of poems written and posted up on a dayroom bulletin board on Unit 4 South, a psychiatric in-patient unit at New York Hospital. Gerard was a 'Mental Health Worker' and says that "putting people in strait jackets was a job that broke my heart, writing poems for those very same patient's, put my heart back together again".

The story goes that someone came across "Don't Quit" and from there its wings were in the hands of fate. Gerard says the confusion over who wrote the poem was due to the fact that he had to write the poems, he posted up, anonymously. "I would have certainly been relieved of my job had my peers known I was going around posting poems. I might have been perceived as too emotional. So I just kept it to myself and posted them anonymously. It (postin poems) was my little secret between God and me". Gerard says this all happened a long time ago now and wants the world to know who he is. Is he a hero?

I think so.

Monika Paas