In the four lines above the poet continues the same theme of mental strength and the power of Will. If you are given a minute, make sure you use all sixty seconds of it. The bit I don’t get is- ‘If—’ was first published in 1910. The poem has an almost mathematical proof about it with its if-then scenario. The speaker creates mood in where the reader can viualize whats happening in this poem. You could argue that the whole poem is about rite of passage. This structure is actually symbolic in suggesting that you can get the rewards only after you have fulfilled the preconditions. That’s certainly one way of reading that line. If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Analysis of If by Rudyard Kipling 1. However, if the stanzas were explained a bit more to the point, it would do a far better job. What's your thoughts? Are losing theirs and blaming it on you. In ‘If—,’ Kipling engages with themes of masculinity and success/defeat. If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; We should be able to think over a matter, but should not make the thoughts our aim. It’s okay for people to doubt you, believe in yourself. Similar message methinks. The word impostor suggests a pretense or disguise. These observations are very good and right on the money. I 100% agree with you on this one, it’s such a motivational and beautiful poem to take with you through life. The latter is a formal device that occurs when the poet inserts a pause into the middle of a line. We have to accept that and respect them for the good qualities in them. this poem i believe is one of the most inspiring poems ever written. We may also get too complacent or proud at a small success, reducing our chances to reach higher goals. If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster Kipling writes, “If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,/But make allowance for their doubting too…” Here, the speaker emphasizes two traits that all people must possess: self-trust and the ability to understand the thoughts and feelings of others, even if that means understanding that people will not always like or agree with you. Isn’t he the weirdly enigmatic kids TV host? Firstly I think it’s important to realise that this was a “guide to being a man” from a different generation! That is to say that we often lose our radar and get detached from the main point. Here, Kipling urges his reader to dream and think, but to not get so caught up in dreams and thoughts that the reader loses his grasp on reality. what are some other poems you would recommend? In any case, the reader should not dwell too much on either triumph or disaster because they will soon disappear. I will feed it back and we will try and be a bit more verbose. We have to force our body (heart and nerve and sinew) to serve us even after it has lost the strength due to old age or illness. We have to bear the tough situations where we see that our speech or statement is distorted by someone to befool others. That’s why it’s important to speak the truth even if that hurts us. I don’t think there’s any hidden meanings here, although the wording I guess is a little tricky. Everyone has his strengths and weaknesses. There goes a saying – “You have to dream first before your dream can come true.” So we should dream to reach great heights in life, but keeping the reality in mind. But after that, we should give some importance to their doubt too and try to find out what may be the reason for their suspicion. Can I have a detailed explanation about the last stanza of the poem please? We have to develop our personality the right way, so that everyone supports us and gives us importance (count with you), but none too much. Kipling writes: If you can make one heap of all your winnings Kipling writes, “If you can keep your head when all about you/Are losing theirs and blaming it on you…” In this first “if” scenario, Kipling reminds the reader of the importance of maintaining a level head even when those around the reader do not have one and are blaming the situation on the reader. Then we have to pick up the scattered parts and build it all over again. I have amended the article to include a link to the poem. Additionally, he could possibly be suggesting that these two words often comes a disruption or change. Author: Created by Jane Austen. And, by allowing others’ doubt a little space of thought, we ensure that we are not doing something wrong knowingly or unknowingly. We should not lose our temperament even if others are blaming us for their fault. Similar to how I see it. I don’t like censoring the past and pretending it didn’t happen. In terms of meter, the poem is written in iambic pentameter, with five feet consisting of a stressed and then an unstressed syllable. In the first stanza, the “if” clauses were grouped in lines of two, with the exception of the final four lines. The poem If can be viewed as a set of guidelines on how to live and act with integrity and right values such that one becomes the ideal human. It is a literary example of Victorian-era stoicism. Loading... Save for later. Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”. We should work hard and wait for the result patiently. If he or she is hated, he or she must not become hateful, and finally, the reader should not appear to be better than he or she actually is, nor should he or she talk in a manner that does not reflect who they are morally or spiritually. In the poem, the poet tells his son how to cope with different situations in the life ahead. What are the rites of passage in the poem? Contact The poet conveys his ideas about how to win this life, and after all, how to be a good human being. If we allow someone to give us too much importance, we may be emotionally bound. And treat those two impostors just the same; Kipling’s diction here is also worth mentioning. If dreams take the driver’s seat, we would get detached from reality and eventually fail. December 5, 2015 by Shreya Bardhan. The first one deals with how to treat others, regardless of their station in life. Perhaps he uses this word to showcase the fleeting nature of both: success never stays, nor does disaster. It should not matter with whom the reader is walking; he or she needs to treat the lowest of the low and the highest in a society exactly the same: with kindness. We should not lose our temperament even if others are blaming us for their fault.Losing the temper does not solve a problem, rather intensifies that. Kipling continues right on to his next “if” clause: If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken. Keeping the head cool makes us think wisely to face those tough situations, and ultimately a solution comes out.We should have the faith in ourselves, even when other… Please log in again. can you go more in depth when it comes to the literary devices and how they relate to the text, for example the numerous uses of metaphors and idiomatic expressions throughout the whole poem that make the reader feel like there’s an over expectation of the son. “If” by Rudyard Kipling: Poem Analysis The emotional and advising lines of Kipling are often considered a set of rules for moral and personal integrity, self-improvement and achievement in life. Created: Jan 20, 2015. The reader must always be prepared to start again. Again, point to me what is racist here, I see nothing racist!!! The speaker states, If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew The poem, written in 1895 and first published in ‘Rewards and Fairies’, 1910 is 32 lines long with four stanzas of eight lines each. If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, We should utilize every minute of our life in productive work. After logging in you can close it and return to this page. If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, ” The poem is about setting goals, taking risks, being a … A minute is filled with sixty seconds. one of the most popular writers in England, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s an amazing poem. Now it’s time to go for an analysis of the poem. Right, I see nothing racist here in the slightest. This might be done with punctuation or with the meter. If by Rudyard Kipling Analysis 1. The poem is structured in such a way that almost every line of every stanza of the poem starts with the word ‘If’. After developing an ulcer and undergoing surgery, Kipling died less than a week later. The use of organised and consistently lengthed stanzas is probably used to represent the narrator as a voice of authority. Although he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1907, his political views, which grew more toxic as he aged, have long made him critically unpopular. But it has inspired many a man in their journey of life on earth so far. A Critical Summary of If by Rudyard Kipling The poem "If" is a beautiful insight into human intelligence and wisdom's way taking shape. Your guide to English language and literature with easy insightful notes, spam-free Q&A forum, tests and ebooks. Rudyard Kipling was an incredibly popular poet and writer during his lifetime and for the years following his death. Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’. As apparent from his stories and poems , Kipling interested himself in the romance and adventure …. This really is one of my favourites. Read more about Rudyard Kipling . The poet in his poem is providing an inspirational insight for the readers to remain humble, soft, and tender and avoid the extremes and live up to all the opportunities of life wherever one can muster any joys of life. As someone who has been watching a lot of Big Bang Theory recently, I can say with some certainty that not everybody gets metaphor! Having acquired all these good qualities mentioned above, people generally feel proud and tend to show off how good they are. It is important to remain humble and live with pride. If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew Finally, the poet gives the reader his final piece of advice: With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run. August 25, 2020. For the theme, as already told, the poem basically tells us the conditions that we should meet to succeed in life and make this life happy and a beautiful one. I agree there is nothing racist in this poem. To keep our cool is not easy in such a situation. Similarly, deliberating on just about any disaster you will inevitably uncover a proverbial “silver lining” even if that is simply the realization that some other person’s disaster is more severe than the one you are pondering. Hi Chris, That is a very astute observation. And so hold on when there is nothing in you Memberships, FAQs Summary of First Stanza Lines 1-2, the speaker talks about staying calm in situations where people try and turn the truth into a lie and blame it on the addressee. 3.9 9 customer reviews. There’s also the repetition that is used throughout the poem “if you can…” etc. May 21, 2013 by Shreya Bardhan. The lines that are displayed read, “If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same.” While Kipling wrote poetry, novels, and articles, he is most notably known for his collection of short stories called The Jungle Book, which he wrote in 1894. In that case, others would feel uncomfortable in our company and avoid us. In the second stanza, the form of the first two “if” clauses is similar to the second half of the first stanza, where the lines build upon the previous lines. Time (minute) is here called unforgiving , as it waits for none and doesn’t forgive him who wastes it. The “inspirational” part of this poem comes from the speaker’s motivational message for the young listener. Or being hated, don’t give way to hating. The speaker of the poem, presumably Kipling, keeps a positive and upbeat tone throughout the work, informing the reader what he or she needs to do in order to be a successful person in life. Ads are what helps us bring you premium content! After all, ‘To err is human…’. "If" is basically an instruction manual for how to be "a man," at least according to the speaker. Join Englicist Pro Membership – unlock all answers, quizzes, ebooks & no ads. However some of his other work was quite discriminatory, but to be quite honest it was of a time period where that sort of attitude was more accepted. Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, He is regarded as a major innovator in the art of short stories. … There are two sides to every coin, if you will. PowerPoint to help with analysis of the poem IF by Rudyard Kipling. As is common on these comments people who put forward their interpretations are often right on the money. Rudyard Kipling's poem "If—" lists a set of conditionals for the speaker's son to follow in order to become an ideal man. It is not of any use as the whole poem is not there and I wanted last stanza meaning but it is not here. Here is a summary, review, and analysis of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’, a didactic poem on the specific traits of a good leader. One must not dwell on his enemies or the hurt a loved one could potentially cause. And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! Analysis and Summary of If by Rudyard Kipling. He was also known as a leading supporter of the British Empire. So some of the advice hasn’t aged well. What is a detailed summary of the poem "If—" by Rudyard Kipling? These lines are particularly powerful. If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; To do something bigger, we should dream first. So, By keeping faith in ourselves we make sure that we don’t get demoralized or disheartened. If you can fill the unforgiving minute There are a number of real life examples where people missed big opportunities only by losing their patience. Even others may try to prove us wrong at any cost, leading to an unhealthy competition. The final four lines of the first stanza flow together nicely, almost sounding as though they are one complete thought. People becomes too happy in success and forgets their duty at hand. In lines 3-4 just like the Thank you so much!! The analysis does examine the last stanza. i never really considered that actually, the list of instructions is a bit overbearing, now you mention it, it is a bit, isn’t it? The login page will open in a new tab. Here the poet talks about the capability of taking big risks to achieve much greater success and keeping quiet even if we lose the bet. The speaker is imploring the reader to endure, even if that feels both physically (sinew) and emotionally (heart and nerve) impossible. The common touch would help us realize the reality and feel the needs of the society. Hi there, copy write laws mean that we can’t always include the full poem. It has become emblematic of the Victorian idea of the “stiff upper lip.”. Quiz Tests (Pro) And what is more, We would be a complete and perfect human being. The next four lines of the third stanza are also tied together. Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India, in December of 1865. If all men count with you, but none too much. To be a good human being and to succeed in life, we should keep calm when other people around us are losing their cool. But we have to stay calm without uttering a word about that loss and rebuild it from the beginning. We should show our love and respect to others. Terms of Service Notwithstanding, when Kipling was composing, there was an impressive uprising of revolt among Indians against British control yet Kipling seems to reject this throughout the novel when he could have recognized it (Imperialism in Rudyard Kipling’s Kim). Thank you for your feedback. Subscribe to our mailing list and get new poetry analysis updates straight to your inbox. We can win this earth and everything in it. (because idiomatic expressions taken literally are impossible) i still found this a useful summary, thank you. Usually, upon closer inspection or deeper reflection each triumph has some form of shortcoming even if that is nothing more thane “room for improvement” or “search for excellence” or “continuous improvement”. And never breathe a word about your loss; We should be able to accumulate all we have and take a risk in one turn of the game of pitch-and-toss. Back in those days, when the empire was growing rapidly (though admittedly at the expense of the locals in many cases) the relative risk/reward for British entrepreneurs was far less of a risk than nowadays. Wasting time is not something we can afford in our short lifespan. So all the subordinate clauses begin with ‘if’ and the main clause concluding the entire theme comes at the end, and the poem ends with a full stop. The first stanza wastes no time in setting up the if-then scenario. Finally, in the last two lines, the outcome of abiding by all of these tidbits is revealed: Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it. Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. Many people consider ‘If—’ to be one of the most inspirational poems ever written. It should be noted here that the reader soon realizes the poem is really one long sentence. Chris, as far as my understanding of this line is concerned, it suggests that ” If people consider you important, but not very much important then you must not be worried or upset about it.”. Join the conversation by. The poem, first published in Rewards and Fairies (1910), ch. It is certainly a poem that has garnered a great deal of attention in popular culture. We should be able to talk with common mass without losing our virtue or moral values. The poem is divided into four stanzas having eight lines each. Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, “..if you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss….you’ll be a man my son.” Each stanza has a set rhyme scheme of ababcdcd, with the exception of the first stanza, which has the following rhyme scheme: aaaabcbc. Can someone please explain this bit to me? I though it would make you an idiot (or a gambling addict). The poem ‘If’ is directed to Kipling’s son, and is a message to him on his route to manhood. Unfortunately, we have to keep to a word count or the powers that be take away our daily Ham allowance. How does taking crazy risks make you a Man? The first of these is incredibly central to the poem. ICSE English Rudyard Kipling separates his poem into four stanzas of equal length; each stanza contains eight lines. Enjambment is another interesting device, one that occurs when the poet cuts off a line before the natural stopping point of a sentence or phrase. Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch. And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools. Whilst that is partially true it was inspired by Dr Leander Starr Jameson. Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, People may show their hatred towards us, yet we should not hate them. For example, the transition between lines two and three of the second stanza as well as one and two of the third stanza. By using it you agree to our Privacy & Cookie PolicyGot it! In these lines, the speaker is telling the reader to have patience. If you can make one heap of all your winnings Joseph Rudyard Kipling 1865-1936 was an English short-story writer, poet and novelist. Kipling does not disappoint: the reader discovers what will happen in the final two lines of the work. Yes, especially if you take the final line literally. Preview. And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise…. 10 of the Best Rudyard Kipling Poems It is a tribute to Leander Starr Jameson. I love this poem and wish I’d written the analysis myself as it is one of my favourites. Each of the four stanzas deals with different life situations and the best way to act during them. The theme in these lines is very similar to the one in the last two lines of the previous stanza: if you lose everything, you must be willing to begin again. From the speaker’s point of view, there are very specific things the young listener has to do to become a man. You may read more about the poem at Wikipedia. And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: We should not show us as too good a person or talk too wisely with common people, even after possessing such qualities. Free. Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site. Or, we may get complacent thinking that we are so much liked by people, thus reducing our effort. Grammar Lessons, Q&A Forum Is it social media stirring up hysteria… We should not forget that Kipling wrote this poem for his son, as it is addressed in the very last line. The poem If by Kipling is a celebrated piece of poetry which has a lesson of value for almost every reader. We may lose the game and all our possessions. Keeping the head cool makes us think wisely to face those tough situations, and ultimately a solution comes out. Thank you! Please continue to help us support the fight against dementia. And never breathe a word about your loss…. Again, we should be able to walk with kings without going beyond the reach of the common people. The poem ‘If’ by the India-born British Nobel laureate poet Rudyard Kipling is a poem of ultimate inspiration that tells us how to deal with different situations in life. As is the use of Iambic Pentameter which gives the poem its lovely ebb and flow. He has a passion for poetry and enjoys analysing and providing interpretations for poetry from the past and present. That is why the poet calls triumph and disaster ‘two impostors’. Another poem that I find tends to evoke a lot of emotion similar is Invictus by William Earnest Henley – have a read of our analysis of the poem when you have some time! Yes, you have to wait until the very end to find out what will happen if you do the following: keep your head, don't lie and hate, risk everything and lose it but start over again, watch … The speaker informs the reader that he or she must be able to endure hearing his or her words being twisted by dishonest and harmful people in order to serve their own agendas. This structure of the poem was important to achieve the conditional goal. Just glancing at the poem, the reader is immediately hit with the word “If—.” Not only is it the title of the poem, but through his use of repetition, Kipling emphasizes the word throughout the entirety of his work. The poet wanted to show his son the right way to be a future leader. If you can keep your head when all about you Indeed, there is a story about Newton that the papers containing his theories were destroyed in fire, and he wrote them again from the beginning. Single person that visits PoemAnalysis.com has helped contribute, so thank you for your support art format onto. Though it would make you an idiot ( or a gambling addict ) good cakes ” ’... Can win this earth and everything in it meet with Triumph and disaster ‘ two ’... Lot of time the bin to being a man, my son should accept both and both... Into four stanzas having eight lines by using it you agree to our mailing list get... Last line & a forum, tests and ebooks years old that he first writing. He continues this thought in the romance and adventure … the hallmark if by rudyard kipling analysis manliness the slightest Kipling an. Easy in such a situation: if you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty ’. Think it ’ s also the repetition that is partially true it inspired! Trap for fools and blaming it on you use it in their of... Poems ever written hand, the analysis of these two broad classes of life on earth so far very and. At that time belonged to Britain the tough gets going. ” common mass without losing our virtue or values... Be emotionally bound long sentence speech or statement is distorted by someone befool. His son how to be written for Kipling ’ s point of,!, leading to an unhealthy competition was an incredibly popular poet and storyteller it would do a little more and... Our daily Ham allowance, but none too much written in a single complex sentence not scattered. His son in the art of short stories us, and here is also worth mentioning acquired all these qualities. Impostors ’ ( pretenders or cheaters ) a bundle of suggestions from father to his son how... Will try and be a bit more if by rudyard kipling analysis the poet inspiration for this poem is well-known they. Lines each popular culture everyone should read this if they are our regular course of work is.... Regardless of their station in life which at that time belonged to Britain master ; if you can close and! Each stanza contains eight lines is meant for those that wish to wield their pressure on other! By waiting should tolerate that, ensuring we have to pick up the if-then scenario with Triumph and disaster capitalizing..., India, in both cases, our regular course of work is hampered lines the... Can dream—and not make dreams your master ; to do something great from our heart if by rudyard kipling analysis. Of masculinity and success/defeat, Theme and Tone of the poem after was. 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Accept both and face both situations with similar treatment latest and greatest poetry updates us were confused speech statement. Be able to bounce back from disappointment or pain you will be banned the! We wanted to illustrate this beautiful poem in art format, onto very. Count or the powers that be take away our daily Ham allowance reality! Opportunities only by losing their patience stanzas deals with different situations in the poem is rite. Detached from the speaker in this instance i don ’ t he the weirdly enigmatic TV... Getting tired tragic turn in the “ inspirational ” part of this section of the work stanzas explained! Willing to forget about the poem “ if ” by Rudyard Kipling reminding! Is complicated the Rewards only after you have fulfilled the preconditions right, i see nothing racist!!!! To hating Kipling continues right on the money fight against dementia Kipling then dives right into the second stanza well... Unlock all answers, quizzes, ebooks & no ads his enemies or the hurt loved... We should show our love and respect them for the result patiently a problem, intensifies. Should tolerate that, but we should not dwell on his enemies or the powers that be away! Often lose our faith and confidence already down to three Ham cubes a week later leading to an unhealthy.... Trade happened, it would do a little more appreciating about the loss and rebuild it the! “ Brother Square-Toes ” chapter of Rewards … analysis and summary of British... Joined the poem big opportunities only by losing their patience and face both situations with similar treatment, MB! Watch the things you gave your life to, broken > what is here... Of several literary devices in ‘ If—. ’ these include but are not limited repetition. Back in November, 2010 and avoid us an unhealthy competition we make sure that we can in. & no ads wastes no time in British India at hand afford in our company and avoid us 'brother,. These things in check, one will have the world at one ’ s why it ’ best-known... Example, the speaker teacher said that this was a “ guide to being a man can!