Thursday, February 24, 2011


Until very recently, the only poetry that I had read was the poetry found in school textbooks. I read lots of fiction but never even thought that poetry could be interesting. So I was surprised that when my friend recently showed me a poem, not only did I read it to the end without getting bored, I also liked it! Turns out that this is a really really famous poem, but just incase there are others who like me have never had the pleasure of reading it before, here it is -

‘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 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!

- Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

Now that I am a bit interested in poems, please suggest to me any other interesting ones….

Note: The image is from WikiMedia Commons. Poem text is from WikiSource. This work is now in the Public Domain in most countries including India and Singapore.


  1. Took you 18 odd years to read this ?? We had this in our school text book when we were young..

  2. Oh well... I never had it in my school textbook or maybe I wasnt paying attention and never read it... haha

    But, good, isnt it?


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