What is this poem about (make is short while explaining please)? How can it be summarized it in one or two sentences?If you can keep your head when all about youAre losing theirs and blaming it on...

What is this poem about (make is short while explaining please)? How can it be summarized it in one or two sentences?

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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shake99 | Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

This poem, "If" by Rudyard Kipling, is advice from a father to a son. It is about being able to live in the world and still rise above all of the negatives and difficulties that you will encounter over the course of your life. The line, "If you can dream--and not make dreams your master" sums it up pretty well. We all dream of a better life, or a more exciting life, but we may find it difficult to let those dreams consume us, distract us from what is real or most important. How many times have you had a desire that blinded you to everything else that was going on, maybe even to the extent that you felt anger or frustration because your desire was not fulfilled? Notice that the poet repeats the line "If you can" eleven times in the poem, and more frequently in the first two stanzas than the last two stanzas. This repetition creates a rhythm that is leading us to the end, and we start wondering what the end will be. We know that sooner or later the poet will have complete the thought that starts with "If you can." It turns out that the end is a pretty big deal--if you can do all this stuff the "earth will be yours . . . and . . . you'll be a man."

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