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Author: Subject: Kipling's poem "If"
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[*] Post 360263 posted on 19-12-2008 at 20:34 Reply With Quote
Kipling's poem "If"



IF

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 all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath 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!

--Rudyard Kipling


It was worth reading, or reading again, wasn't it? ;)

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[*] Post 360265 posted on 19-12-2008 at 20:42 Reply With Quote


I think you'll find that most people on here from the UK will have read it at school. Furthermore it recently came top of a "favourite poem" competition run by the BBC.
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[*] Post 360272 posted on 19-12-2008 at 21:19 Reply With Quote


Thank you, MM. I didn't know that.

Sadly, American school children learn hardly any literature word-for-word by memory any more, and this poem would not be one of those.

They might know the Pledge of Allegience (said by most before the flag, but Jehovah's Witnesses do not). Quite a few know the Lord's Prayer from their church education.

(Those remarks are more for the gallery, as Marymary knows this if her experience agrees with mine.)

But, many of them know the words to popular contemporary songs.:cool:

Perhaps another Yankee will mention if they know of anything else still widely memorized in school. The first verse of "The Star Spangled Banner" perhaps?
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