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!


Comments about If by Rudyard Kipling

  • Freshman - 873 Points Naida Nepascua Supnet (5/19/2015 8:32:00 AM)

    There are a lot of ifs.... teachings of a father to his son
    and if those ifs are achieved and met- - - - Then your is the earth and everything that's in it
    and most of all you'll be a man my son

    very nice isn't it? ? (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Silver Star - 3,215 Points Michael Walker (5/2/2015 8:13:00 PM)

    Technically intricate-just a couple of long, periodic sentences, with the memorable climax' 'you'll be a man my son'. If some of these ideals seem unrealistic, the poem gives me a sense of pride in manhood; it boosts my self esteem. This is a refreshing change from the constant put-downs of men in the NZ media, usually inspired, I think, by men-hating feminists.
    'If' was the simple credo by which the late Harold Holt lived. It took the place of any religious belief for Mr. Holt. As an athlete and enthusiast of the movie 'Chariots of Fire', I like the phrase, ' With sixty seconds of distance run.' (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 585 Points Hiroshi Satow (5/1/2015 8:41:00 PM)

    Good poem. I'm encouraged! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 252 Points Rafique Farooqi (4/22/2015 6:44:00 AM)

    Never to give up............................and and let thin or thick part of your success. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 69 Points Azad Bongobasi (4/16/2015 1:52:00 AM)

    good filing (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 4,072 Points Patricia Grantham (3/20/2015 10:27:00 PM)

    A poem so filled with wisdom and imaginations. Keep your head up
    and it will remain above water. Enjoyed it. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 12,979 Points Rajnish Manga (3/16/2015 4:20:00 AM)

    If one is honest and follows the words in the poem diligently, he would not require any self help guide in life. I bow my head unto the poet and his immortal composition. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 91 Points Muhammad Sarim Ashrafi (2/24/2015 2:28:00 PM)

    One of my favourite poems.. Guys plz read my poems.. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 28,836 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (1/31/2015 9:04:00 AM)

    This is the one of the best poems that I myself understood and enjoyed much and in every word and sentence there is call for individual freedom and make ourselves better man. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 5 Points Barucn Atta (1/30/2015 2:29:00 PM)

    Compare IF to Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou. Like comparing substance to fluff. Reality to fantasy. A man's search for meaning, to a woman's self centered ego driven vanity. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 5 Points Barucn Atta (1/30/2015 2:28:00 PM)

    Compare IF to Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou. Like comparing substance to fluff. Reality to fantasy. A man's search for meaning, to a woman's self centered ego driven vanity. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 112 Points Nadia Robb (1/21/2015 9:56:00 AM)

    This poem is full of encouragement. Well executed and honest, this poem is one of the great ones! Told as if you are getting a final summary of the lessons his own life has revealed to him and what one could take from similar experiences. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 645 Points Sossi Khachadourian (1/6/2015 4:30:00 PM)

    Its one of my favorite poems, simply amazing I can read it thousands of times never get bored! (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 554 Points James Fitzpatrick (1/1/2015 10:16:00 PM)

    He must have been bitter about the war and losing his son, yet he was still about to write to express how he felt he should feel. A hard thing to do, and although he was a colonialist he was still a historian in what he left in most of what he wrote.

    In whatever age you live this can still be classed a masterpiece.... (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 7,676 Points Neela Nath (12/17/2014 11:17:00 PM)

    Lesson for life.I never get
    bored whenever I read this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 662 Points Nathan Beery (12/17/2014 9:01:00 PM)

    One of my favorite poems, beautifully written and meaningful. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 28,836 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (12/17/2014 8:38:00 AM)

    A great poem of Rudyard Kipling and it is marvelous in all respects. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 7,657 Points Eric Ericson (11/10/2014 6:42:00 PM)

    the longer I live the more I find this to be true (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,167 Points Michael Morgan (10/28/2014 6:43:00 PM)

    awful, silly, colonial poem MM (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 16,080 Points Mandolyn ... (10/28/2014 6:01:00 PM)

    the opening two lines read so off-kilter - i'm surprised he got away with that.
    language was more proper back then.
    i must remind myself of this,
    as i do admire
    this poem. (Report) Reply

Read all 269 comments »




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1. Si 10/23/2014
2. إذا 11/8/2014

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



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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