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10                                                                          Sayurusara   2022  December

                    The poem ‘If’ was written by the India-born British Nobel laureate poet Joseph Rudyard Kipling
             in 1895. It was first published in Kipling’s volume of short stories and poems, ‘Rewards and Fairies’, in
             1910. The poem is written in the form of paternal advice to the poet’s son named John. However it is
             evident that this poem reflects advice from all fathers’ to their sons’. The poet exquisitely expresses his
             ideas about how to win this gifted life and after all, how to be a good human being. This is a poem that
             gives ultimate inspiration and tells us how to deal with different situations and challenges in life. The
             poem is divided into four stanzas having eight lines each.


               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,                          Joseph Rudyard Kipling
               But make alalowance for their doubting too;                                30 Dec 1865 – 18 Jan 1936
               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,           The summary of the poem is as follows:
               And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
                                                                   If  you  can  stay  calm  when  everyone  around
               If  you  can  dream  -  and  not  make  dreams  your   you  is  panicking  and  holding  you  responsible
               master;                                             for  their  panic;  if  you  can  be  confident  even
               If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;  when no one trusts you, while still taking other
               If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster           people’s concerns into consideration; if you can
               And treat those two impostors just the same;        be  patient;  if  you  can  avoid  lying  even  when
               If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken     people lie about you; if you cannot hate anyone
               Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,         even when they hate you; if you can be virtuous
               Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,  in these ways, but still not think too highly of
               And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:     yourself; (First Stanza)

               If you can make one heap of all your winnings
               And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,          If you can have big ambitions, without becoming
                                                                   a servant to them; if you can be analytical, but
               And lose, and start again at your beginnings        not get lost in analysis for its own sake; if you
               And never breathe a word about your loss;           can take a measured approach to successes and
               If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew     failures,  seeing  them  both  as  temporary  and
               To serve your turn long after they are gone,
               And so hold on when there is nothing in you         not especially meaningful; if you can handle it
                                                                   when unscrupulous people distort your sincere
               Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’      words to deceive the ignorant; if you can lose
               If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   everything you’ve worked for and get right back
               Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,     to rebuilding it from the ground up;
               If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,    (Second Stanza)
               If all men count with you, but none too much;
               If you can fill the unforgiving minute              If you can risk everything you’ve earned on a
               With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,          single gamble, lose it all, and begin again from
               Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,     nothing without complaining; if you can push
               And - which is more - you’ll be a Man, my son!      yourself to total mental and physical exhaustion

              (Source:  and still keep going with only your willpower to
              analysis-of-rudyard-kiplings-if/ accessed on 20 Aug 22)  support and sustain you; (Third Stanza)
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