"IF" - The Kipling Poem

During an enlightening conversation with a  professor, a poem by Rudyard Kipling came up. I hadn't thought about the poem in quite some time so I was anxious to read it again. Immediately after I left his office, I read it slowly and absorbed its power and eloquence.

It gave me a tremendous boost of inspiration that afternoon!

You will find the poem below in its entirety.

Happy Gswede Sunday!


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings -- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run --
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son!


Venice - "IF" you have never been to Venice, Italy, it's worth a visit! (picture by Bill)

1 comment:

readon2 said...

I had this poem on my wall all my life, hanging in my bedroom. It belonged to my Father given to him from my Grand Father. My brother and I shared it. Now it is hanging in the hall out side my 4 yr old sons room. I don't remember my Father giving it to me or telling me to read it nor did we read it together. "If" just showed up on my wall and as I got older I read it. As life became more challenging "If" made more sense to me. It was comforting to me when I was sad and inspired me knowing it belonged to my Father and Grand Father. It was a life lesson to me inherited. For those of you with daughters, there is also an "If" poem for girls inspired by Rudyard Kipling, writed by JP McEnvoy. I believe when you fail to teach something to your son, that was taught to you by your Father, you have failed all the generations before you. D.R.W. II