If

Rudyard Kipling 1865 (Mumbai) – 1936 (London)



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!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on May 03, 2023

1:27 min read
8,386

Quick analysis:

Scheme AAAABCBC DEDEFGFG HIHIFJAJ AKAKXFXF
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,478
Words 285
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 8, 8, 8, 8

Rudyard Kipling

Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly remembered for his tales and poems of British soldiers in India and his tales for children. more…

All Rudyard Kipling poems | Rudyard Kipling Books

33 fans

Discuss the poem If with the community...

3 Comments
  • sablon_m
    Great poem!
    LikeReply7 months ago
  • Dougla$Irishman
    Truly an epic poem by a master poet of years ago !
    What if
    Only if
    What stops us from going the extra mile ?
    A wise man calculates the risk and never looks back !
    LikeReply2 years ago
  • dogsbolls
    f%%%ING Brillant
    LikeReply2 years ago

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"If" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 Jul 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/33247/if>.

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