Wednesday, December 29, 2010

If by Rudyard Kipling

I've been on a Rudyard Kipling fix recently.  His poems have been calling out to me as I think about this coming year.  My kids are growing.  We are moving past the raising young kids phase.  I don't like it but to everything there is a season, so I have to acknowledge the passing of time and embrace the next phase.  This poem has been a bacon to me most of my life and I hope to pass the message onto my growing children as well.  As I welcome each year with excitement as well as slight trepidation, I think back and look forward, I find comfort in this message.  Welcome 2011.  


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 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 wornout 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 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! 


Melinda said...

I used to make my students memorize this poem. They hated me a little bit for it, but I've always hoped they carried at least a little part of it into adulthood.

Kari said...

"Embrace the next phase." I like that. (Just when I thought I had half a handle on the last one!)

Speaking of kids growing up a little. I have to say, it's awesome when the oldest is old enough to be at home with younger kids (without you) for short periods of time. Time to Christmas shop with your husband, or run just one child somewhere, without loading EVERYbody up. I do like that.

Happy New Year!

David said...


David said...


hey, i just remembered how you have a crush on pete sampras. did you see the news story this month about how all of his trophies were stolen out of his storage unit? very sad.

erin said...

I was skipping through blogs and found yours with my favorite poem of all time!! Thanks for posting it! :)

love.boxes said...

I love this poem Janice! LOVE!
Melinda, you're my kind of teacher!