Please read this poem and explain what this poem is about.Than summarize the main idea in 1 or 2 sentences. Thank you!If by Rudyard KiplingIf you can keep your head when all about youAre losing...

Please read this poem and explain what this poem is about.Than summarize the main idea in 1 or 2 sentences.

Thank you!

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 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!

 

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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The speaker of the poem is talking to his son. He is giving illustrations that teach a life lesson. If the son can follow the speaker's advice, he will become a man.

In the first stanza, the speaker stresses the importance of keeping your head up, even when those around you are losing it or even blaming you:

The first stanza of “If” illustrates the practice of self-confidence and expresses that, in being confident, the reader must have the courage to face unpopularity and disagreement.

The speaker goes on to say that you should trust yourself and be patient. Don't lie and don't hate is another message the speaker gives.

In the second stanza, the speaker stresses that it is important to dream but be sure and don't allow dreams to overtake your reasoning:

The central focus of this second stanza is to instruct the reader to act on his ideals and to warn the reader at the same time that action does not guarantee permanent success.

Triumph and disaster are impostors and should be treated as such. Be careful about celebrating too quickly. If you can rebuild after you have been broken, you will be a man.

In stanza three, the message is to be diligent to rebuild after you have lost everything, you will be stronger. If you can hold on when you feel you can't, you will have learned endurance.

In stanza four, it is important to walk with kings yet remain humble. If friends or enemies cannot hurt you, you have learned a lesson that will sustain you:

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!

The point of this poem is that the speaker is sharing his ideas on life lessons that will help you mature and become a man:

The entire poem, as evidenced by the title, is an extended “if/then” statement; and the last line serves as the answer to every “if” presented in the poem: by emulating the characteristics of a model leader, an individual can achieve “manhood.” The reader learns at this point that the poem is meant as a specific address to a boy or young man.

Sources:

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