If Poem by Rudyard Kipling


Rating: 4.5

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!

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Srimayee Ganguly 16 December 2012

Such a boring poem full of ethics. Although I am devoted to poetry, this poem made me slumber in english class for the first time.

79 259 Reply
Kevin Straw 28 October 2012

Kipling is wrong - these attributes are valuable to a man sent out to rule an outpost of the empire, but they form only part of a man's intellectual and emotional makeup. Indeed, one has to suspect a man who cannot be hurt by his friends. There is nothing here about love, sorrow, affection, art and charity - Kipling's are pagan attributes - nothing to do with the Jesus Kipling would claim to worship.

66 254 Reply
Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan 10 April 2013

Lofty ideas indeed. But the same poet elsewhere has written that East is East and West is West - And never the twain shall meet...! ! That smacks of inconsistency in your philosophy of life. He should have written thus: - // If you can see East in the West and West in the East / Your's is the Earth and Everyone that's on it! ! ...// I do not respect authors whose ideal enshrined in one piece of writing contradicts with that in another piece of writing. I love the poetry of Paramahansa Yogananda, where you do not find any contradiction at all... Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan (Land of Upanishads)

131 98 Reply
Sarah Spivey 24 November 2012

This poem reminds me to keep my eyes on heaven even when people around (especially those closes to you) hurt you. Men will let you down sometimes. God is the only one we can trust completely.

120 105 Reply
Dutley 03 July 2022

This has nothing to do with God

1 1 Reply
Angela Ford 20 July 2022

I was given a copy of this poem when I was seven years old and have tried to live my life according to its code. I think I am a better person for it.

2 0 Reply
Bill 18 June 2022

Teaching a boy what it means to be a good man is the essence of fatherhood. If a father can teach his son to instill these values, he has done his job. The lessons in this poem apply no less to the fairer . Maggie Thatcher certainly had them.

3 0 Reply
Anuradha Prakash 29 May 2022

‘ If' is a famous poem of Rudyard Kipling

1 1 Reply
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