If we can hear the wisdom held within it, 
not quibbling over words or what is meant, 
the time we spend to read this timeless poem,
will bless our souls,
with blessed time well spent...


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 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!

11 thoughts on “If…”

  1. I do think that’s one of my poems, though. I can’t be certain, but it looks like one of mine. I may have deleted it one day, after writing it real quick. Just, the theme sounds like something I’d write about. Especially the “Quibble over ever word.” I hate it when people take words out of context, or debate the meaning of a word. I mean, I don’t know if this is one of my poems. I’ve written so many over the years, but it is my suspicion someone’s been plagiarizing me.


    1. The four lines came to me while I was out walking a couple of days ago, and trying to think of a suitable introduction to the poem ‘If’. I changed the format and wording several times before feeling happy with the final version. If it sounds similar to something you’ve written in the past then it’s just coincidence, or perhaps divine intervention…it is said that there’s nothing new under the sun 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If it is something I’ve written, I deleted it. It is a very good poem, though. I don’t know why I would have deleted that. It’s funny, because I was reading a Hans Christian Andersen poem that looked like something I might have written.

        It’s probably just because it’s good poetry. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Whenever I am reading something, and it is in a particularly good quality, I always think I myself have written it. That’s how I know it’s good.”

        I hope you get successful. God bless!


      2. I also can tell you wrote it. You’re not being defensive in any way, or trying to convince me of anything. And for the record, I did think the same thing about Hans Christian Andersen poem once. And unless someone is plagiarizing me with Time Travel, I think it’s probably just because good writing all emulates a similar style. I’ll send you a link to that poem. It’s just probably because you wrote a good poem. That’s a well written piece. It’s good for the time.


        I have inclinations of writing this poem, too. Just, good poetry has a similar style, and echoes.


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