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If by Rudyard Kipling

by Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 65 comments
If by Rudyard Kipling 1910

Day 9 of the #AtoZChallenge is for the letter I and I is for If. One of my favorite poems is If by Rudyard Kipling and I’d like to share it today.

Rudyard Kipling (1865 to 1936) was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist most notably remembered for his tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. He was born in Bombay, India. His most famous works are  The Jungle Book (a collection of stories which includes “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi”), Just So Stories (1902), Kim (1901) (a tale of adventure), many short stories, including “The Man Who Would Be King” (1888); and his poems, including “Mandalay” (1890), “Gunga Din” (1890), “The White Man’s Burden” (1899) and “If—” (1910). He is regarded as a major “innovator in the art of the short story” and his children’s books are enduring classics of children’s literature. His best works are said to exhibit “a versatile and luminous narrative gift” (Source: Wikipedia)

I’ve had his book “Kim” for as long as I can remember. Today it is rather yellowed with age. I am ever grateful to my Angels for introducing me to wonderfully inspiring reading. I’ve watched The Jungle Book countless times and I enjoy it as much as the first time, every time. Kipling was a genius and his quotes are brilliant.  A personal favorite is “God could not be everywhere, so he made Mothers“.

Let’s enjoy If by Rudyard Kipling – a poem that has inspired me for years.

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 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 imposters 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!

(Download If by Rudyard Kipling as a pdf << just click this link to save it)

#AtoZChallenge I

Today, let’s enjoy the following #AtoZChallenge posts:

Ruchira’s I for Introvert

and cool off with

Shail’s I for Ice-cream

If by Rudyard Kipling

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65 comments

Harleena Singh April 10, 2013 at 10:14 am

HI Vidya,

Rudyard Kipling is an all time favorite of mine too, and for this very poem 🙂

I remember how we were made to learn it up by the Nuns in our school, and we did. Just saying it out aloud gives us a wonderful feeling – isn’t it?

Hope your challenge is going on well, and I wish all the others too who are taking part in it. Don’t stress yourselves out 🙂

Thanks for sharing, and have a nice day ahead 🙂
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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Absolutely, Harleena! I like this poem for its connection with my Mom and Uncle – both used to recite it beautifully – and it felt so energizing t me.

Thank you! Hugs!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Batu Caves Malaysia

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sridevi April 10, 2013 at 10:26 am

A big big hug to you Vidya for posting this fav poem of mine . My favorite lines :

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!”
sridevi recently posted…I for My Imperfections

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 9:56 pm

🙂 Sridevi, love your favorite lines. In this poem, I find it hard to choose a favorite – each line is so full of wisdom! Thank you!
Vidya Sury recently posted…If by Rudyard Kipling

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Laxmi Chundi Addanki April 10, 2013 at 10:27 am

And- which is more -You’ll be a woman my daughter…LOL

Thanks for the stroll down the memory lane. This remains one of my all-time favorites. Thanks for the mention of the other works…I didn’t read much of Kipling, so, the ‘to read’ list adds up as we speak 🙂
Cheers
Laxmi

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Laxmi, this particular poem is an anytime read! 🙂 Thanks for commenting. Love your verse!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Batu Caves Malaysia

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Suzy April 10, 2013 at 10:38 am

A great poem – thanks for sharing I had forgotten about it. I studied Jungle Book in std 5 or 6 – can’t remember now and we all loved to say Rikki tikki tavi – I think he became the favourite of all.
Suzy recently posted…UBC 10 – AtoZ – Imagination

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Yes, Suzy! I loved the name Rikki Tikki Tavi too – and we all wanted to use it in some way! 😀 Hugs!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Batu Caves Malaysia

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Joy V. Smith April 10, 2013 at 11:32 am

I enjoyed your earlier posts, but Kipling is one of my favorite authors. I love Kim; The Jungle Book; his short stories, including Rikki-Tikki-Tavi; and his poetry. Btw, some of his poems have been set to music by a filk [sic] singer, whose name I can’t recall. I know the CD is somewhere…
Joy V. Smith recently posted…I is for Ink

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Thank you, Joy! I’d love to listen to Kipling’s poems set to music! Let me Google and see! Glad you’re here! Heading over to your place now!
Vidya Sury recently posted…If by Rudyard Kipling

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Joy V. Smith April 11, 2013 at 9:19 am

Vidya, the CD is titled Norman & Saxon, and the music is by filk singer, Michael Longcor, from Firebird Arts & Music. I really love some of the songs. Great job of setting Kipling’s poems to music.
Joy V. Smith recently posted…I is for Ink

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Joy V. Smith April 11, 2013 at 9:21 am

Vidya, And thanks for stopping by!
Joy V. Smith recently posted…I is for Ink

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NBose April 10, 2013 at 11:43 am

I read this one some time back and completely forgotten about it…thanks for sharing:)
I love the lines:
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 imposters just the same;

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Nibedita, in fact I chose those very lines to write the meta description for this post. I love them too!

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Rahul April 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Rudyard Kipling is immortal and his works are a joy that have withstood the test of time! Thanks Vidya for this post:)

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Thank you, Rahul!

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Shilpa Garg April 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Remember reading this and other works of Rudyard Kipling long back… Thanks for sharing!
Shilpa Garg recently posted…I is for… IPL and I

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 8:08 pm

🙂 Nice, no, Shilpa! Thank you for commenting!

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Meena Menon April 10, 2013 at 3:12 pm

You know I hv never been able to take the time to appreciate poems n hv always been awed by people who coul do it!
Meena Menon recently posted…@St.Marys Island

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 8:08 pm

🙂 I understand, Meena. It isn’t as though I regularly read poetry. But there are a handful that have a lot of meaning for me. Thank you for visiting!

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afshan April 10, 2013 at 3:21 pm

The quote , poem and jungle book all 3 are my favs Vidya.
Thanks for this poem.. its been long I read it .

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;

woww I love poems more than anythng else 🙂
good day
afshan recently posted…“I” is for “I-Phone” What else 😛 ?

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 8:07 pm

🙂 Look forward to seeing your poetry in print soon, Afshan!

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G Angela April 10, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Thanks for refreshing my mind vidya ! We had his poems in the high school, nice to hear it again from you, thanks for sharing

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 8:07 pm

🙂 Thank you, Angela. This was one poem which touched my heart even back then…thanks to my Uncle!

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Corinne Rodrigues April 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm

This is an eternal favorite, isn’t it? Such powerful words and everyone of them true.
Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…I’m Listening With A Broken Ear

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Yes, it is truly a “printable” and regularly “readable”! Thank you, Corinne!

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Sulekha April 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm

I do too, Vidya.I have always loved the poem, thanks for sharing.

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Thanks, Sulekha!

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Lori Gosselin April 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Such a great poem Vidya! Steeped in the wisdom we read so much about today! It’s a big “IF” isn’t it!?! 😉
Lori
Lori Gosselin recently posted…Have You Ever Had a Recurring Dream?

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Indeed it is, Lori! I love how some poems are relevant regardless of which generation reads it! 🙂 Hugs!

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loywell April 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm

“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs…” My late Father said this to me many, many times as I was growing up. I wasn’t aware of its origin until now. I’m grateful to ‘vidyasury’ for teaching me where that line came from.

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 8:04 pm

🙂 Thank you for your kind words, Loywell! I am so happy to see you here!

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Ruchira April 10, 2013 at 7:39 pm

I like to read Rudyard Kipling and this poem is among my favorite. I love his animal stories the best and off course my fav is the Jungle Book 😛
Ruchira recently posted…I is for Introverts !

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Ruchira April 10, 2013 at 7:50 pm

And off course many thanks for recommending me today. I am indeed honored !
Ruchira recently posted…I is for Introverts !

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm

My pleasure, Ruchira!

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Yes, Ruchira – Jungle Book is so endearing!

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My Inner Chick April 10, 2013 at 7:47 pm

LOVE love love the quote by Kipling. Brilliant Man!

Vidya, love you more than 8 Tabby Cats sitting in the Minnesota snow. Xxx
My Inner Chick recently posted…An Imitation Life on Carnival Cruise Lines

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Hugs, Kim! Love you more than twenty peacocks dancing in the rain!

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janu April 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Wonderful and timeless poem. Haven’t read him but, yes, jungle book remains etched in my memory forever.

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Yes, Janu. Jungle Book means many happy memories for me. Timeless!

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Kaarina Dillabough April 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm

One of my all-time favourites! Kindred spirits. Cheers! Kaarina P.S. Counting the days ….
Kaarina Dillabough recently posted…Give Employees What They Want. And No…It’s Not (just) Money

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Vidya Sury April 10, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Me too! Kaarina. So near! 😀 Hugs!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Batu Caves Malaysia

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Shail April 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Wow, thanks for reminding me of this poem. Who can forget his Jungle Book?
A special thanks for featuring my post here today. Hugs Vidya 🙂

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Vidya Sury April 11, 2013 at 9:20 am

Thanks Shail! 😀 I am in love with your photos!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Joy Is Here

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Carolyn Hughes April 10, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Had to comment. This is one of my all time favourites and I’m so glad to have an excuse to spend time reading it again. Thanks Vidya! 🙂
Carolyn Hughes recently posted…The gift of giving.

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Vidya Sury April 11, 2013 at 9:21 am

How lovely! I am not surprised, Carolyn! You’re such a fab writer yourself! Hugs!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Joy Is Here

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Roshni April 10, 2013 at 10:50 pm

I always loved that poem! Thank you for the reminder, Vidya!
Roshni recently posted…Blogging from A to Z April Challenge: I is for…

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Vidya Sury April 11, 2013 at 9:22 am

Thanks, Roshni. Makes such a great read each time!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Joy Is Here

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Elle April 10, 2013 at 11:44 pm

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!

My all time favourite Vidya. You my friend are amazing with your 30 day challenge…if I were able I’d write a poem about you.

Love Elle
xoxo

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Vidya Sury April 11, 2013 at 9:23 am

It is beautiful, isn’t it, Elle? Thank you for your encouragement! What a lovely thing to say! I don’t doubt that you can write poetry! Hugs!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Joy Is Here

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Terri Sonoda April 11, 2013 at 12:48 am

Absolutely breathtaking. Thank you for sharing Vidya! XOXOs
Terri Sonoda recently posted…I got nuthin’

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Vidya Sury April 11, 2013 at 9:24 am

Thank you, dearest Terri! Hugs!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Joy Is Here

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Chandra Senan April 11, 2013 at 2:26 am

This inspirational poem of Kipling’s is right up there with the very best and never ceases to amaze me. It is an impassioned call for one to be detached, patient, resolute, calm, unfazed, unflinching, non-judgemental and unprejudiced in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. An excellent decision on your part, Vidya, to make it the theme for this post. While we are on the subject of IFs, here are some other poems involving the same conjunction, although not in the same class as Kipling’s offering but funny nonetheless.

If all the world were paper
If all the sea were ink,
If all the trees were bread and cheese,
What should we do for drink?
Anonymous

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride
If turnips were swords, I’d wear one by my side
If ifs and ands were pots and pans,
there’d be no need for tinkers’ hands
Scottish proverb

Chandra Senan

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Vidya Sury April 11, 2013 at 9:25 am

Chandra, it is the timelessness of Kipling’s work that always enchants me!

Thanks so much for adding those two verses – I’ve read both! I was blessed with an Uncle who was great at coming up with impromptu verse – and it was through him I developed my love for limericks. 🙂 Happy day to you!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Joy Is Here

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S. L. Hennessy April 11, 2013 at 3:21 am

Kipling is one of my favorite writers. I’d read anything by him.

Happy A to Z posting!
pensuasion.blogspot.com
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Vidya Sury April 11, 2013 at 9:26 am

Thank you, Hennessy! I am going to go check out the Intelligence agent now! 😀 Glad to see you here!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Joy Is Here

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hitchy April 11, 2013 at 8:12 am

Wonderful.. I have not read anything other than The Jungle Book by Kipling.. and I loved this ! 😀
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Vidya Sury April 11, 2013 at 9:32 am

So happy to be the bringer of good things, Dhiren!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Joy Is Here

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M. J. Joachim April 11, 2013 at 9:51 am

Nice I post. I grew up with Kipling’s entire collection on my father’s bookshelves. We were lucky to have so many wonderful works available to read any time we wanted. He also had all of Dickens works on the shelves too. 🙂
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Vidya Sury April 11, 2013 at 10:53 am

Joachim – Dickens is another favorite! You’re lucky to have grown up with Kipling and Dickens! 🙂

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Preetilata April 11, 2013 at 4:50 pm

I can never get enough of this Poem Vidya. Rightly depicts why Rudyard Kipling was a legend.
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Cathy Taughinbaugh April 11, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Thanks for sharing, Vidya. I love it all, but the first two lines reach out to me –
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you

take care!
Cathy Taughinbaugh recently posted…The Sheer Power in Admitting Powerlessness

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Freya April 13, 2013 at 10:28 am

‘if’ is one of my all time favourite poems too. The first time I read it was in school but over the years I’ve gone back so many times to re-read it. Especially when I’m feeling down or defeated in life. It’s a great kick in the backside, inspiring me to push harder. 😀
Aside: Enjoying your A to Z challenge, even though I don’t always leave comments 🙂

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Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar April 14, 2013 at 8:56 am

One of my favourite poems. Thanks for posting, Vidya.
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Sebastian Aiden Daniels May 16, 2013 at 10:54 am

I loved this post. Thank you for sharing. I have heard of Rudyard Kipling, but have never read anything by him. I will have to now. I loved the quote about the mothers. So true.

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