Tuesday, 10 April 2012

If - Rudyard Kipling

I heard this poem being read out a short time ago and loved it and loved what it represented so I thought I'd share it here.

Rudyard Kipling

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 impostors 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!

Is there a poem that you love, that just strikes that chord with you and if so, what is it?


  1. I love this poem, and that is incredible for me because I am not usually a poetry kind of person. :D

  2. My overriding memory of this poem is listening to Des Lynam reciting it at the end of the 98 World Cup, when we crashed out, yet again. Lots of sadness that day. I believe he released it as a CD too. It is a great poem, full of poignancy.

  3. I haven't read this one in a long time. Thanks for posting!

  4. My favorite poem is either Ozymandias, or Kubla Khan, but this is very good too!

  5. I've always loved this poem. :)
    "Fleurette" by Robert Service is another favorite of mine.

  6. Oh yes a wonderful poem. It's been years and years since I last read it. As for a favorite, perhaps, He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by William Butler Yeats.

  7. I love this poem. I haven't thought of it in ages either. Good choice!

  8. Ever since I was at Primary school, my favourite poem has been 'To Autumn' by John Keats. We had to illustrate it and I just remember the lesson so well. It evokes so perfectly the countryside in autumn. I also have a soft spot for 'Jerusalem'! I love all the best things about England and try to let the bad wash over me. When you fly back in from somewhere more arid, it really is a green and pleasant land that greets you through the plane window! Great post, Rebecca - I love that poem too!

  9. Nice inspiration for the day. I'm studying poetry now, so this is especially good to read. I like "nerve and sinew".

  10. love that poem--my favorite--"i shall not pass this way again" by eva rose york

  11. This is one of my favorite poems!