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If - Rudyard Kipling
Transcript of If - Rudyard Kipling
By Rudyard Kipling
Title - "If"
How to Become a Man
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!
Written in 1895
Inspired by Leander Starr Jameson
Advice to John, his son
Companion piece to "Brother Square Toes"
Leander Starr Jameson
Born December 30th 1865
Born in Mumbai, India
British short story writer, poet and novelist
Received Nobel Prize in 1907
Characteristics of ideal man's personality
Be true to one's self
Overcome obstacles, never give up
Follow your dreams, but have a realistic approach
Don't waste time
Everyone is equal
The aim of the poem is to advise his son or any male on how to be a man, and how to succeed in life. It also offers a lesson in the characteristics and virtues of a model public figure or leader.
'And-which is more-you'll be a Man, my son!'
Abilities and virtues of true leader
Attainment of a true man
If able to achieve aspects, shows presence of maturity, absence of childlike behaviour
Only one complete stop at the end of the poem-exclamation mark
11 and 10 syllables rotating
Rhyme scheme is ABABCDCD
'If you can dream-and not make dreams your master'
-stanza 2 line 1
Dreaming is allowed to an extent
Don't let that control our life
'If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two imposters just the same'
-stanza 2 line 3
'Triumph' and 'Disaster' is animated
Should work hard and be focused
Intensify possibility of finding yourself in that situation
Enhance connection between poet and reader
Emphasize importance of one's true self