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MeetChristians.com / Forums / Poetry, Prose, Art and stuff

No. 0     Original Topic: Kipling: If one can flourish from abuse and rub elbows with Kings   
By:  CAsandie   Gender: F   Age: 103   on  Aug 15, 2017 at 5:27 PM   Viewed 1966 times     
Although written for his son (John), there is a solemn and eerie truth in this poem shared with me today that touched my heart (I've hi-lighted that portion which touched my heart the most). Sharing here if it has not been read before and providing a bit of biography on Kipling if unknown:

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 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

A friend felt it encompassed some serious undertakings of Christ. Yet, Kipling was known as an agnostic teaching virtue that Christianity as well teach. From my own assessment it would appear a lot of Kipling's writings had to do with abuse suffered in childhood. Sharing this critique of the poem from online:

The virtues expressed in "If-" are devoid of showiness or glamour; it is notable that Kipling says nothing of heroic deeds or great wealth or fame. For him the true measure of a man is his humility and his stoicism. Kipling's biographer, Andrew Lycett, considers the poem one of the writer's finest and notes in 2009 that "If-" is absolutely valuable even in the complicated postmodern world: "In these straitened times, the old-fashioned virtues of fortitude, responsibilities and resolution, as articulated in 'If-', become ever more important."


An autobiography of this award winning poet is included here if this has not been researched before by anyone (again one can see the abuse of his childhood riddled in the writings shared of just so stories):

Preface: A sad but honored life to include refusing a knighthood from King John V and the loss of his son for which the poem above was writing at war, when he just barely became a man/his manhood shattered with passing at 18 years of age. My critique is Rudyard Kipliing truly lived the life of 'if' from his biography::

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KisbyZjIaqM








No. 1     Reply: Re: Kipling: If one can flourish from abuse and rub elbows with Kings   
By:  RadioPreacherMan   Gender: M   Age: 59   on  Aug 17, 2017 at 1:01 PM     
CAsandie wrote:

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:

-- Rudyard Kipling



I like the first part of the poem ( quoted above ).

I thought of how the Lord brings us to a " calmness." :cloud9:

As another person told me last week ... there are times when everything is " boiling " around us. I never heard it put that way before ... but the Good News is ... the Lord ( who lives in us ) will bring about a " stillness " in the center of our soul. " Peace Be Still "

No. 2     Reply: Re: Kipling: If one can flourish from abuse and rub elbows with Kings   
By:  CAsandie   Gender: F   Age: 103   on  Aug 21, 2017 at 1:17 PM     
Thanks for appreciating this, RPM. Yes, I took the poem very similar ... that all that matters in life is Him and our relationship with Him (the rest comes together from the former).

The other thing I noticed is that Jesus Himself lived such a life (so I thought deeply on Him and His life/crucifix), although this might not be a Christian poem. Still in His rest, indeed!

A fascinating life kipling lived as well (many of his poems and stories a product of the abuse he lived as a child).

Have a great day and again thanks for your post here.