If Poem is written by Rudyard Kipling. This is one of the most well-known poems to be ever written. He tried to list as many virtues as possible in this poem. Through this poem, he meant to motivate his son. Moreover, the poet wants to show his son that he would be rewarded in the end. But only if he fulfills the preconditions required.
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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!
Summary for If poem:
The poet begins the poem with the most important virtue, patience. He speaks of keeping a level head. He earnestly advocates us to not lose our calm even when everyone else has lost theirs. For losing our temperament would lead us nowhere. Further, the poet urges us to keep believing in ourselves, irrespective of all the doubts others might have. Another virtue that the poet talks about is of “not getting tired”. He appears to be saying that we should keep working hard and patiently wait for the results. Also, read The Brave Little Kite.
The poet asks us not to pay any mind to the hatred directed towards us. Another important virtue talked about here is that even if we possess the qualities of being better than others, we must never act superior. We should stay humble. Further, the poet stresses on not letting our dreams rule us. Next, the poet masterfully personifies “triumph and disaster“, portraying them as pretenders. For our live is a bittersweet combination of happiness and sadness. A combination of success and failures. So, the poet reminds us to remember that we should always look forward. He asks us not fall deep in sadness or happiness, whichever it is.
Additionally, the poem talks about bearing with the misinterpretations of our words or statements. He asks us to continue moving forward without holding a grudge against them. The poem says that when, our favorite things, the things which we make with too many efforts, breaks, we must not be sad. We should pick the pieces up and begin again.
Next, the poet says that if we risk everything we have earned in our lives, for a dream or for an idea, and lose it. We must stay calm and build everything from the scratch. The poet gives a strong message in the next four lines. He says that even when our body does not move or seems unable to move, we must carry on. Be it old age or illness, we mustn’t give up, we must never lose our will. Next, the poet advises us to keep be strong. Bothe mentally and physically, so that our enemies or our friend don’t hurt us. He further advises us to utilize our limited time properly. You may also like to read, Never Judge Others.
Finally, the poet concludes by saying, that if we fulfill those conditions, then this world would be ours. Meaning, we can achieve whatever goals we set our minds to. This poem, which was initially meant for Rudyard Kipling’s son, has profound meaning and a surreal closeness to our lives.
Few words to learn from the poem:
Triumph: Achieve victory or to be successful
Impostor: A person who pretends to be someone else
Knave: A dishonest man
Sinew: A piece of tough fibrous tissue uniting the bone and muscle