IF by Rudyard Kipling

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Gone are the days when good and great poems were taught and appreciated.

“I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree…” This seems to be the only piece that is familiar to a lot of motorists as they travel through the highways. I used to write poetry. And the day I started my role as news editor for my college paper I stopped doing it. While there seems to be a slight surge in poetry in certain circles how I still hope that more people would take it seriously.

It’s not easy to write poetry and it’s not easy to understand it.

The reason why many great poems turn into commercialized clichés is because most people do not really concentrate hard enough to listen and understand the full meaning behind the messages.

One  good example is the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. It includes some of the best advice a parent could give a child: Now as I read this to you I would like you to really take the time and attention to listen to the words being said.

IF 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 imposters 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 all 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!

Such richness and such wisdom behind each lines of this poem.

We do not find a lot of these today anymore.

It takes a lot of wisdom and understanding to both write and appreciate poetry.

With an economy of words a deep and profound message is delivered.

This is why I love the Bible. For in it you find poetry and prose and not only does it carry the wisdom for the ages it carries the power to transform lives.

7 thoughts on “IF by Rudyard Kipling

  1. John Dennis Dolores

    Simply beautiful. A father’s wisdom shared to a son. Once again Mr. Francis Kong, thank you very much for sharing these to all of us. In times of hardship or strife we are constantly reminded that God really walks among men thru people who continue to spread His words of salvation and comfort..

    Reply
  2. ellen minas

    Dear Sir Francis,

    I loved it when when you said that you love the Bible, no doubt that you love GOD.
    For in the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was with God and the WORD was GOD… and the WORD became FLESH…. isn’t it amazing????
    Now I can say I love you with the love of the LORD…
    My salute to you, my brother in Christ… I think Daniel 12:3 is God’s message to you

    Reply
  3. Gem

    Hi Sir Francis,

    I remember this poem back in College during a Literature 101 subject. I remember this just as I remember another Kipling’s work, The Answer. I assume you know that too. It’s really nice. It talks about God’s love for us.

    I must also agree with you that reading the Bible will help nourish your soul. With this reminder, I will read the Bible again. Thank you.

    Reply
  4. Edwin

    a Blessed Sunday!
    Sir Francis,
    i must admit, poetry are quite difficult
    to understand.
    but its very compelling!
    keep inspiring,
    keep doing,
    keeping on keeping on!

    wish i could attend all the seminars your giving
    with an affordable offer. So others with menial income
    can participate. Take care Sir.

    God Bless your Health and your family as well.

    Reply
  5. Christine Black

    I remember part of the poem, IF. We had to learn this poem in high school which have been some 50 years plus. As I learned the poem it gave me such inspiring feeling to reach out. I’ve tried to live my life according to the Bible and poetry have help me with trials I have met in life.

    Reply
  6. BK

    This is one very inspiring poem. I used to attempt on writing poems when I was younger but it was never as good or even close to this. Reading poems in school always fascinated me back then as I find some poems so beautifully written and yet it could be so difficult to understand them fully.

    Reply

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