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Rudyard Kipling Poem “If” – About Rudyard Kipling Famous Poem

Rudyard Kiplings most beloved poem ‘If,’ was written in 1895 and first published in 1910 in his collection of children’s stories, ‘Rewards, and Fairies.’

I know you are eager to rush to the poem, but take some time to read about Rudyard Kipling and his inspirational work, “If”

Rudyard Kipling and the Poem “If”

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) inspirational poem ‘If’ first appeared in his collection ‘Rewards and Fairies’ in 1909. The poem ‘If’ serves as an inspiration, motivation, and a guide to ‘grown-up’ living. Kipling’s ‘If’ contains mottos and maxims for life, and the poem is also a blueprint for personal integrity, behavior, and self-development.

‘If’ is perhaps even more relevant today than when Kipling wrote it, as an ethos and a personal philosophy. Lines from Kipling’s ‘If’ appear over the player’s entrance to Wimbledon’s Centre Court – a poignant reflection of the poem’s timeless and inspiring quality.

The beauty and elegance of ‘If’ contrast starkly with Rudyard Kipling’s largely tragic and unhappy life. He was starved of love and attention and sent away by his parents; beaten and abused by his foster mother; and a failure at a public school that sought to develop qualities that were completely alien to Kipling. In later life, the deaths of two of his children also affected Kipling deeply.

Rudyard Kipling achieved fame quickly, based initially on his first stories and poems written in India (he returned there after College), and his great popularity with the British public continued despite the subsequent critical reaction to some of his more conservative work, and critical opinion in later years that his poetry was superficial and lacking in depth of meaning.

Significantly, Kipling turned down many honors offered to him including a knighthood, Poet Laureate, and the Order of Merit, but in 1907 he accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature. Kipling’s wide popular appeal survives through other works, notably The Jungle Book (1894) the novel, Kim (1901), and Just So Stories (1902).

This is one of the most popular poems of the last century, and its inspirational messages hold true today just as much as they did when it was written in 1910. Yet, it also feels outdated in some ways — should we really never embrace our intense emotions and constantly strive to appear ‘fine’ even when we’re not?

Overall though, I do agree with its motivational and stoic attitudes — we should all certainly learn to make the best out of difficult situations and avoid arrogance or overconfidence in times of success. Read the poem and make up your own mind about its advice!

Title: “If”

If you can keep your cool when all around you,
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when others doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not grow tired of waiting,
Or being lied about, refrain from lies,
Or being hated, resist the urge to hating,
And yet don’t seem too good, nor overly wise:

If you can dream but not let dreams control you;
If you can think but not make thoughts your goal;
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 trap the minds of fools,
Or watch the things you’ve given your life to, broken,
And stoop and build them up with worn-out tools:

If you can make a heap of all your winnings
And risk it on a turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and then start over with beginnings,
And never speak a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your purpose long after they’re gone,
And hold on when there’s nothing left within you
Except the voice that says, ‘Keep moving on!’

If you can talk with crowds yet keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings yet keep the common touch,
If neither foes nor friends can hurt or hurt you,
If all can count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill each unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and all that’s in it,
And more than that, my friend, you’ll be a Man, my son.

Rudyard is said to have written the poem ‘If’ alongside Dr. Leander Starr Jameson in mind, who led about five-hundreds of his compatriots in a failed raid against the Boers, in southern Africa.

The Poem “If” is like a treasure a good friend can pass to his or her trusted friend through advice in order to help him/her to be brave.

It can as well help our friends to be more stronger than before and confident too, just like the heroes we read about in our favorite stories.

So, if you enjoyed reading the Rudyard Kipling poem kindly share it with your friends on the social media platform.

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