After Rudyard Kipling

With Affection and All Respect for Dear Rudyard

If you can keep your heart when all about you
__Are stretching reason to its reasoned end;
Ignore all form and pretense, without scoffing,
__And jesting always, care that none offend,
If you refuse to wait, but praise each moment,
__And make it burst with dear, impassioned life,
Embody your full range of love and loathing,
__But not take sides in other people's strife…

If you can listen well without believing;
__And think—but grant your thoughts no special claim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
__And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can celebrate with heart of gladness
__A world not known but glimpsed through veil of tears;
If you embrace the fullness of your losses,
__But see clearly past imaginary fears…

If you can laugh when nonsense that you utter
__Is analyzed by critics and deemed grand,
And write profound philosophy on water,
__Build a splendid castle out of sand;
If you can preach a sermon fraught with laughter,
__And, serving kings, become the jester's knave;
Disburse your treasures to the undeserving,
__And throw away the pennies that you save…

And cast your love with just this same abandon,
__Feel gratitude for joys that come your way;
Doubt neither your own virtue nor your brother's,
__Break every rule to guarantee fair play;
If you can lose your fear of squandered minutes,
__And fall in love with all that's free and wild,
Yours is the Void and all the life that's in it,
__And, Best Beloved, you can be a child.

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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Joan. 10 March 2019

Wow. Extra special coming fom a man who is so intelligent and probably gets praised for his wise utterances. What has value?

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