Tuesday, 16 March 2010

ABC Wednesday, I for If ....by Rudyard Kipling

My father gave this to me in a period when I had many problems. I always kept this poem and often read it. Especially the first sentences are very strong...

"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,..."

I think I always kept my head and hope to do so until my death.


Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936).

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 wornout 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!

With thanks to Denise Nesbitt, who created ABC.For more interesting ABC posts click on the logo in the sidebar or Here. This week we are looking for words beginning with I.


Sylvia K said...

Great post for the day, Wil! I hadn't thought about that poem in a long time -- thanks for the reminder! They are words we can all learn from and do make a difference in one's life and outlook -- even if they are sometimes difficult to accomplish! Hope you're having a great week!


Tarun Mitra said...

One of the best poems ever

Carol said...

Beautiful! I had forgotten that poem....very inspiring post.

LisaF said...

Not many words truer than these.

anthonynorth said...

I'm a great fan of Kipling's short stories. He was an excellent writer, sadly not so popular in the UK nowadays, though.
Enjoyed the post.

RuneE said...

I bow my head to you and your choice. It is in indeed wisdom in those words. May many read them - once again, and learn from them.

Vicki Lane said...

I've been a fan of Kipling's longer poems for years -- my favorite being the one about The Lord starting to gather up the sea at the end of days and all the sailors convincing Him not to.

photowannabe said...

Its a powerful, timeless poem that I haven't thought about for a long time.
Thank you for printing the entire poem. they are definitely words to be taken to heart.

Kay said...

This is very meaningful and beautiful, Wil. Thank you for sharing this. I'll try to keep it in mind this week.

Babooshka said...

One of the most well know of poems, often misqouted and rarely seen in full. Inspiring is very true.

Anya said...

Dat zijn Nederlandse crocusjes
zo lief :-)

Prachtig gedicht !!!!!!

Zondag ben ik jarig
stttttt...... tegen niemand zeggen
De meeste kunnen toch geen Nederlands lezen hihihihi....
Kareltje wilt dat U zondag langskomt !!!!!!!

Stan Ski said...

Wise words indeed.

Brenda said...

I enjoyed that Wil. I will try and read more of his work. Thanks for posting this.

Life with Kaishon said...

This is one of my most favorite poems in all the world. How perfect for ABC Wednesday and the letter I. Thank you so much for posting this today. What a blessing to read.

jeannette stgermain said...

Very good advise! But hard to follow when one is in that position:)

Hildred and Charles said...

What a lot of wisdom is contained in this one short poem by Kipling.

Roger Owen Green said...

I was ambivalent about some of Kipling's work, but not this, which is classic.

Grace and Bradley said...

Thanks for this inspiring and beautiful poem.

Jay said...

It's a wonderful poem, isn't it? I think so many people must know those first two lines, and the last part of the last one, but very little of the rest. It's always worth reading through and thinking on, though, isn't it?

Arkansas Patti said...

Like Babooshka, I have seen that misquoted a lot. Thanks for the complete version. Words to live by.

Gattina said...

Very interesting poeme, I didn't know it.

Monika said...

its a lovely poem

Anonymous said...

Beautiful piece of poetry. Lots of meaning in his choice of words.

I am getting better. Or somewhat better. Slept the night through last night. Hope tonight will be the same and that I don't cough too much.

Hope you and family are all well.

Miss_Yves said...

Un très beau choix , une belle leçon d'humanité et de dignité .
Le style de ce célèbre poème,avec ses antithèses , son anaphore "If"et ses répétitions rappelle un peu celui de Victor Hugo , tout comme ses idées .
(Les photos sont celles de mon petit-fils, qui a 16 mois)
(je n'ai pas pu ouvrir la pièce jointe)

fini said...

i knew all the words since small as this is one of my favourite poem, ever!!

Inspiring, indeed!!

Nydia said...

Oh.... This is so lovely... Always loved this from Kipling, so wise!

Thanks for reminding me of this beautiful poem.

Kisses from Nydia.

Tumblewords: said...

A beautiful reminder, one sorely needed in these days! Inspiring. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

True I have heard selected parts of this and do appreciate your posting the entire poem. I was give that piece of advice in different words by my wise mother and g mother but never too late to hear again and just keep trying. Blessings

Regina said...

Beautiful poem.

Etje said...

Het is jaren geleden dat ik dit nog eens gelezen heb, bedankt om het op je blog te zetten

Ann said...

used to read Jungle book with my kids, and once watch a TV show about his son having to go for war.

All the flowers in bloom yet?

We had 10 degrees this morning. Looks like winter is coming early.

Self Sagacity said...

Wow! Truly motivational and so precious! Thanks for sharing, I am keeping a copy for myself.

Jo said...

It seems Kipling is very unfashionable these days but his words stil have resonance today particularly thse written during the First World War .. I'm thinking of 'Tommie' which beautifully sume up the attitude of the general public to returning soldiers. He suffered greatly when his only son John was killed on the Somme and that tragedy inspired yet another strong but poignant poem.

Vagabonde said...

Je connaissais les dernières lignes de ce poème mais je ne l’avais jamais lu en entier. Ce sont des mots qui résonnent par la force de leurs sentiments.

Terresa said...

Inspirational Kipling at his best.

Stumbled upon your blog. Glad I did.

Etje said...

Kom gewwon effe langs om je een fijne vrijdag te wensen

Dina said...

The IF is such a big word in this poem. Kipling's advice in it is evergreen, even a century later.

I'm sure you did and will keep your head, Wil.
I keep trying.

Barbara Martin said...

These words stand the test of time and are fitting today.

Thanks for reminding us, Wil.