Wednesday, September 08, 2010


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 all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath 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 (or a woman!), my son (daughter)!

--Rudyard Kipling


Blogger Willowtree said...

I remember the first time I read this poem, I was surprised that I had never seen it before. I would think this is the type of poem that should be taught in school. You never know what tidbit of something you learned in school can give you that extra push you need later in life.
I also remember thinking that such people did not exist, but now in my old age hehe, I think we encounter people like this every single day. You never know what someone has fought to get to the point where you met them. Lots of life's achievements have no pomp and circumstance to speak of.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

I had never read this poem before, until the day I posted it! I think I'd heard of Rudyard Kipling's "If", being referred to before, but didn't know what it was, and never cared to look into it. But I was really struck by it when I read it on someone's Facebook page. Very inspiring.

You learned of this in your schooling? Wow, we never came across this. I do remember something though about-
See Jane Run. See Dick Run. There's Spot. Hello Spot.

No, I do remember a particular English class where we read Marc Antony's speech about the murder of Caesar (Friends, Romans, Contrymen), and how he called those murderers and conspirators "those honourable men") so very, very many times, that you just knew they weren't honourable at all. That one always stuck with me.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Willowtree said...

Nope, didnt learn about this poem in school at all, I was done with school for years before I encountered it.
I was saying I thought it was the kind of poem that should be taught in school.
We had to learn sections of speeches from Julius Cesar and present it in front of the class. I dont remember a thing!

10:06 AM  

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