“If” by Rudyard Kipling

“If” by Rudyard Kipling
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“If” is a poem by Rudyard Kipling that was first published in 1909. The poem is written in the form of a father’s advice to his son, and it explores the qualities that make a good person. “If” stresses the importance of honesty, integrity, and self-control, among other things. The poem has been widely praised for its wisdom and insight, and it continues to be popular today.

The fatherly advice of “If” by Rudyard Kipling

The poem consists of four stanzas, each containing four lines. The first two stanzas offer advice on how to deal with success, while the last two stanzas offer advice on how to deal with failure.

The first stanza begins with the line “If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,” which is probably the most famous line from the poem. This stanza goes on to advise the reader to “trust yourself when all men doubt you” and to “make allowance for their doubting too.”

The second stanza begins with the line “If you can wait and not be tired waiting,” which is advice on patience. The stanza also advises the reader to “not lose faith in humanity / Because there is some good in all of us.”

The third stanza, which deals with failure, begins with the line “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster / And treat those two impostors just the same.” This stanza goes on to advise the reader to “keep your head when all about you are losing theirs” and to “look at the world with honest eyes.”

The fourth and final stanza, which deals with adversity, begins with the line “If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken / Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools.” This stanza goes on to advise the reader to “speak your mind, but keep your head always cool,” and to “talk with crowds and keep your virtue.”

“If” is a poem that has been widely anthologized and it is considered one of Kipling’s most famous works. The advice offered in the poem is still relevant today, which is probably one of the reasons why it continues to be popular.

The insights of “If” on honesty, integrity, and self-control

Honesty, integrity, and self-control are important character traits to possess to be successful in life. “If” by Rudyard Kipling is a poem that speaks to these traits and offers insights on how to develop them. The first stanza of the poem addresses honesty and admonishes the reader to always speak the truth, even when it is difficult. The second stanza speaks to integrity and urges the reader to always act with honor and dignity. The third stanza addresses self-control and emphasizes the importance of remaining calm and collected in moments of adversity. By internalizing the message of this poem, one can develop the character traits necessary for success in life.

The enduring popularity of “If”

The enduring popularity of “If” is due in part to its universal themes of strength and resilience in the face of adversity. The poem has been translated into over 150 languages, making it one of the most widely-read poems in the world. It has also been set to music by several composers, including John Barry and Leonard Bernstein. The poem remains popular today because it speaks to the human condition and our shared experience of overcoming challenges.


Rudyard Kipling’s “If” is one of the most beloved poems in the English language. It has been translated into more than fifty languages and has been set to music by some of the world’s greatest composers. “If” is a poem that speaks to the human condition, offering advice on how to live a good life. It is a timeless message that is as relevant today as it was when Kipling first wrote it.

“If” is not simply a list of things to do or not to do. It is a blueprint for living a good life. The poem speaks to our better nature, urging us to be honest and fair, to work hard, and to persevere. It is a call to action, a reminder that we all have the power to make a difference in the world.