Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

If - Poem by 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!

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Poster by:

Comments about If by Rudyard Kipling

  • (11/14/2018 6:36:00 AM)

    How to be a man, my son? is the thing of deliberation here in this poem titled If. How to be a man? How to live a good life? How to walk fearlessly holding the head high? How to stand on feet? How to form a moral character? (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (11/14/2018 3:11:00 AM)

    i had to memories this in grade 7. Anyone else? ? (Report) Reply

  • (11/7/2018 9:50:00 PM)

    Loved it with all my heart! ! (Report) Reply

  • (10/22/2018 12:58:00 PM)

    True words and inspirational sentences (Report) Reply

  • (10/18/2018 1:38:00 PM)

    Awesome poem. So inspiring. (Report) Reply

  • (10/18/2018 1:37:00 PM)

    Awesome poem. So inspiring (Report) Reply

  • (9/27/2018 8:54:00 PM)

    It's a rather outdated concept, this man idea. Good thing, too. Sounds awful. (Report) Reply

    (10/11/2018 3:03:00 AM)

    Really? One of the finest and greatest poems ever written and whine about his use of the word man. Look in the OED you'll find it exists. Keep your PC claptrap to yourself and grow up!

  • (9/23/2018 1:31:00 PM)

    Very realistic and true as per my perspective. I loved enjoyed. (Report) Reply

  • (9/6/2018 1:25:00 AM)

    Never when I was younger did I realise the poignancy of this. (Report) Reply

  • (8/22/2018 7:33:00 AM)

    The greatest. (Report) Reply

  • (8/20/2018 1:06:00 AM)

    Outstanding, although I skipped over this poem 1,000 times it in fact spoke out the most to me! (Report) Reply

  • (8/19/2018 10:38:00 AM)


    (10/8/2018 9:25:00 PM)

    The title of this poem is If what did you expect?

    (8/22/2018 7:47:00 AM)

    Lets see you make a better poem

  • Britte Ninad (8/9/2018 1:06:00 AM)

    And say
    And say
    And say
    And say
    And say
    this is ever best great poem of Rudyard Kipling
    (Report) Reply

  • (8/2/2018 8:11:00 AM)

    Awesome piece, so inspiring (Report) Reply

  • (8/2/2018 8:09:00 AM)

    This poem is my favorite. I love this poem so much,i had to recommend it to literature teacher (Report) Reply

  • (7/25/2018 8:25:00 PM)

    If President Trump doesn't have this on his office wall, he should and he should read it every day! It will keep him strong! (Report) Reply

    (9/4/2018 12:28:00 PM)

    I honestly think it should teach him.. But however strong this poem may be I don't believe a man like him can change..

    (8/1/2018 4:20:00 PM)

    Rather it should teach him humility, compassion and ethical behavior. He needs all the help he can muster.

  • (7/19/2018 6:30:00 PM)

    A version with an adverb at the end. Being that Earth is forgiving in our total misuse of its Paradise are we firstly upright men. Then we should once again truly look at alternative energy and raise our hands against oil wars. (Report) Reply

  • (7/19/2018 6:29:00 PM)

    Just wonderful, what insight, what guidance to be a good man. (Report) Reply

  • (7/19/2018 6:27:00 PM)

    Being that Earth is forgiving in our total misuse of its Paradise are we first men. (Report) Reply

  • (7/19/2018 5:37:00 PM)

    great poem indeed! (Report) Reply

Read all 523 comments »

# 7 poem on top 500 Poems

User Rating:
4,5 / 5 ( 1,263 votes ) 501

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: loss, trust, son, truth, dream, lost, hate, running, friend

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Poem Edited: Thursday, October 13, 2016

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]