Discussion Topic

An analysis and interpretation of Rudyard Kipling's poem "If—"

Summary:

Rudyard Kipling's poem "If—" offers advice on how to navigate life's challenges with resilience, integrity, and patience. It emphasizes virtues such as self-confidence, perseverance, humility, and stoicism. The poem encourages maintaining composure in adversity, trusting oneself, and being true to one's principles. Ultimately, it presents an ideal of mature, responsible manhood, suggesting that mastering these qualities leads to a fulfilling and successful life.

Expert Answers

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How would you summarize the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling?

The first link below gives you an example of a summary of the poem; but, be careful not to plagiarize. Depending on the type of assignment (whether it requires one paragraph or five) think about what your teacher wants you to learn from the poem. Some of the major themes are self-control, self-mastery, and leadership skills; so consider these when writing the assignment. Summaries usually ask students to retell what they read in their own words. Read each stanza and try to write one sentence about its main points. Do that with each stanza and you should be close to the number of words that you need. Of course, don't forget to use your own formal style of writing for academic papers. If you still aren't sure about what to say, read the poem again, or read more from the study guide here on enotes for more ideas. Again, links are provided below.

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Can you provide a commentary on Rudyard Kipling's poem "If"?

"If" is presented as a lecture of guidance and advice, delivered by a father to his son. The father is giving his son suggestions and examples of ways in which the son should learn to conduct himself in his dealings with others as he goes through life. The advice is presented as a series of scenarios, first presenting a negative reaction to a situation and then giving the contrasting positive behavior.

The father begins by suggesting personal qualities that are desirable, while warning against looking down on others who may not have those qualities. The goal is to achieve high personal standards without becoming conceited or condescending. The son is encouraged to be ready to develop worthy ideas and plans and take action to make them reality, while not allowing the criticism or ridicule of others to discourage him.

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;

The son is challenged to remain true to his convictions, continuing to strive for the achievement of worthwhile ends even when others abandon the cause.

If the son succeeds in meeting these expectations, the father closes, he will achieve the ultimate rewards: "Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!"

The poem is written as four stanzas of eight lines per stanza, utilizing an "abab cdcd" rhyming pattern and iambic pentameter stress pattern with an extra unstressed syllable at the end of each initial "a" and "c" line. The language is very straightforward and common, as would be expected when a father is giving advice to his young son.

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What is the message in Rudyard Kipling's poem "If—"?

In the final lines of "If—," readers become aware that this poem is addressed to the speaker's "son." While this can be interpreted literally, it can also be more loosely interpreted as a poem of advice which is presented to a younger generation from a speaker with more life experience.

Life's trials bring wisdom, and that is conveyed throughout the poem. In the first stanza, the speaker stresses the importance of maintaining honor in one's relationships. He advises the listener to be calm when situations spin out of control, to be steady in the face of doubt, and to refuse to return hate with hate.

In the second stanza, the speaker examines the significance of honor. He insists that the listener be ready to face life's "triumphs" and "disasters" with the same stoic response. He understands that the listener will one day find that his own words have been misrepresented, and "fools" will believe those "twisted" lies. His response to those "knaves" will prove his character.

The speaker realizes that his "son" will one day face situations requiring incredible resolve. In the third stanza, the speaker reflects upon those times when he will be asked to force his "heart and nerve" to find the strength to continue on in the face of seeming hopelessness. In his wisdom, the speaker predicts the need for resilience to "hold on" in those moments in life when it seems that all is lost and that there is nothing left except his own resolve.

The final stanza speaks to the importance of relationships with others. The speaker conveys the value in walking with both "Kings" and "common" people. Regardless of company, it's important to maintain his own "virtue" and to refuse to allow either the words of "foes" or of "friends" to tear him down.

All of these bits of instruction are delivered with the structure of anaphora, repeating the same initial first words in many of the lines. This structure creates a rhythm that mimics the steady sense of resilience needed to become a person of virtue. The poem's meter is predictable, and the listener can thus bring a sense of predictability to even the most difficult life circumstances.

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What is the message in Rudyard Kipling's poem "If—"?

Rudyard Kipling’s wonderful poem “If” supplies a guide for how to live an honorable, successful life.  Written in 1895, the principles that Kipling present still apply to today’s world.  His intuitive solutions to life’s problems have no time, gender, or age.

The poem is written in four stanzas with only two sentences.  The first sentence ends at the end of the third stanza and the second sentence ends at the end of the poem. Each stanza has eight lines. The poem is written in first and second person.  His use of “you” makes the poem seem as though it is addressed directly to the reader.

1st stanza

The word “if” begins every stanza and establishes a condition that the poet assumes that the person will face in life. The first stanza focuses on self-confidence.  Trust in one’s own abilities. A person may be blamed and doubted; it does not matter if the person knows the truth.  Keep an even keel in whatever happens.  Be patient.  Do not listen to lies or work with those who do not tell the truth.  Hate must never be a part of a man’s life.  In addition, never try to show off or be arrogant in talking to others.  

2nd stanza

A man should dream, but he can live on just his dreams.  He must act. Thoughts and thinking are important as well; but there is more to life.

 If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:

Winning is easy.  Losing is hard. Both aspects of life are faced by a person. A man must learn how to handle both situations with grace and go on with his life. 

Sometimes a person learns that people will twist what a person has said and use it against him.  A man may also have something that he has built torn down by fools.  The only thing to do is to kneel down and use whatever tools he has and rebuild what has been broken

3rd  Stanza

Risk and loss are a part of life. If a person risks everything he has and loses in some foolish game, the only thing to do is  start over again.  Never give up and never discuss the loss with anyone.  It is only the individual’s business.

A person sometimes has to work beyond his physical capabilities.  It is his responsibility to work until the goal is gained. There is something in man that propels him forward if he has the will to “hold on.”

4th Stanza

When a man talks in the midst of men, he should not give up his integrity. If he walks among nobility, he must never forget who he is. Pride and conceit are sins.  A man will have friends and enemies, but he must never allow them to harm him.  Other people should be an important part of the a man’s life, but never depend on any one man too much.

Time must never be wasted.  Every minute of every day is important. Never be idle and squander time. If a person can live the life prescribed, everything that a person wants will come to him. In addition, a person will be hailed as a true and good man.

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What is the purpose of the poem "If—" by Rudyard Kipling?

The purpose of the poem "If—" is to celebrate the values of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century British middle-class men. These values, referred to throughout Kipling's work, are a sort of neo-Stoicism, in which men were expected to bear hardship with courage, and to always strive towards and defend ideals, even in defense of lost causes. This was a worldview common among the middle classes in both Great Britain and the United States, whose president, Theodore Roosevelt, advocated a "strenuous life." Indeed, the poem was first published alongside an admiring account of the life of George Washington.

That these were seen as masculine virtues is underscored by the fact that the narrator in the poem is speaking to his son. To the extent that young man embodies and lives by these values, the narrator says, "you'll be a Man, my son!" Courage, perseverance, honesty, and ambition are all held up by the narrator as model behaviors for the young man, who, it is not difficult to see, represents all of the young men in Great Britain.

These virtues are military in nature, and, while the poem is often quoted today by those who claim it represents timeless ideals, it is difficult to separate "If—" from the context in which it was written. It is a paean to the rugged masculinity associated with British imperialism and a sense of Anglo-Saxon superiority that called for young men to, as Kipling wrote in another of his poems, "take up the white man's burden" by seeking out a life of valor and hardship. Still, like much of Kipling's work, there is an underlying theme of humility in the face of challenges. So "If—" is intended to promote a set of values that embodied masculinity in Anglo-American middle-class society.

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What is the purpose of the poem "If—" by Rudyard Kipling?

Everything that is built needs a plan or guide.  Rudyard Kipling provided a blueprint for living a stellar life in his poem “If” written in 1895.  The astounding aspect of the poem comes from the applicability of his rules in today’s society.

The purpose of the poem

Kipling wrote the poem as if it were talking to his son.  He gives advice to help the young man to find his place in the world and to live with integrity and dignity.  The speaker talks to the person in second person.  This encourages the reader to place himself in the place of the son. If a person takes to heart Kipling’s advice, he will find himself in a happier world each day. 

The format

The poem has thirty-two lines with four stanzas.  His first stanza follows the rhyming pattern: AAAABCBC.  The three other verses use the pattern: ABABCDCD. Notice also that the poem is one long sentence with the thoughts separated by semi-colons.

The summary

1st Stanza

If you can keep your head when all about you 
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; 


Self-control is the purpose of this verse.  Try to keep a clear head and do not become bitter when people speak against you.  Have patience in your daily life. Be honest and avoid dealing in emotions that work against you.  Do not try to look or act better than other people.

2nd Stanza

If you can meet with triumph and disaster 
And treat those two imposters just the same; 


Shakespeare said: “We are the masters of our fate…” This verse reinforces this idea.  Dream and ponder life.  However, always be in control.  Nothing should ever control you. 

There are two opposing poles in life: winning and losing [triumph and disaster]. A person must be just as graceful in losing as he is in winning.  It is playing the game to the best of your ability that is most important.

Life is not always easy.  When you have done something really well and it is broken beyond your control, you must begin again using whatever means that you can find.

3rd Stanza

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
To serve your turn long after they are gone, 

Sometimes it is necessary to take chances.  In your risks in life, you may lose. Start over and do not talk about it.  When you are at the end of your life and your body no longer acts as it once did, never give up the will to go on. 

4th Stanza

If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run - 

A person should be able to communicate with ordinary people and with kings as well.   Never forget who you are.  Do not allow outside forces to infiltrate your spirit.  Do not give yourself over to man completely.  No one needs to shoulder completely the woes of other men.  Never waste time. Fill every minute of each day with life, love, and work.  If you can do these things, the world is your oyster.  In addition, you will be a man among men.

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What is the purpose of the poem "If—" by Rudyard Kipling?

The purpose of If by Rudyard Kipling is to give advice to a boy on how to be a man. He is defining what it means to be a real man, someone who doesn't blame others for mistakes, listens to both sides of an issue, takes risks and accepts losses. He is saying if you can do all these things such as "keep your head," "trust yourself," "meet with triumph and disaster," "hold on when there is nothing in you," and "talk with crowds and keep your virtue," then "you'll be a Man my son!"

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Explain the final stanza in the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling?

What a wonderful guide for how to handle all of life’s confusing situations!  This is a manual for behavior written in 1896 that still applies to life in 2013. Kipling intended this poem to inspire and motivate his son [although there are differences of opinion as to the person to whom he was writing] to aspire to the high-minded goals he sets in “If” by Rudyard Kipling.

4th stanza

The final verse asserts:

  • that a person should be able to address and converse with  large groups of people and still hold on to his integrity
  • a man should be able to talk with royalty or nobility and keep from growing arrogant or staying true to himself
  • If an individual has done nothing wrong, neither his friends nor his enemies should be able to bother or upset him

Everyone should be treated the same and equal in his eyes—but he should favor no particular type of person, race, or creed

Fill every minute of his life with worthwhile projects and stay the course with them—Never waste life’s valuable time

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

When a person is able to do all of these things, then anything is possible. He will become the master of his fate.

And if he can follow these standards, then he will be acclaimed a man in the truest sense of the word.

1st stanza

Kipling’s common sense approach to life encourages all of the virtues of that man should strive to have in his life:

Self-confidence; patience; honesty—avoid arrogance and sarcasm

2nd stanza

Hope and dream but do not daydream

Ponder and but do not strive to only think about something but put thoughts into action

Winning and losing are both a part of life.  A person must learn to handle both with grace.

When other men twist his words, he should have the fortitude to ignore their efforts to engage him a dispute.

When a man loses whatever he has built or worked on,  he cannot give up he must rebuild what he has lost.

3rd stanza

A person may put everything that he values at risk; however, if he loses everything, he must start again to build his fortune. He should never tell anyone about  it.

When one grows older and his heart, nerves, and strength are of little use, then he must use all of his will-power to go on and say to himself: Do not give up!

This is an poem that sets high standards for the the reader.  It demands that a person be the best that he can be!

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Summarize the poem "If".

"If" is a father's advice to his son about how to live his life so as to achieve the respect of others and, more importantly, a high standard of self-worth in society. The advice is given as a series of contrasting situations, suggesting a situation and two ways of reacting to it - the first not a good choice, the second one preferable.

In the first stanza, the son is encouraged to believe in himself and to stand up for his beliefs even when others disagree; at the same time, the son is warned against discounting the possibility of value in the ideas of others.

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

The second stanza counsels the son to work to achieve his goals but not to lose himself in the process and not to become discouraged by the criticisms of others. "If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools..."

The third stanza uses exaggerated language to emphasize the importance of not connecting self-worth with the achievement or loss of any specific goal. The important thing is to remain true to personal convictions and to continue to work for worthwhile purposes, even when others don't.

In the final stanza, the father reemphasizes the importance of treating all persons equally, at the same time maintaining personal honesty and honor.

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

Concluding, the father proclaims that, if the son is able to follow this advice, he will achieve whatever in the world he wishes to accomplish. Most important of all, in the father's view, the son will attain complete and honorable maturity. "You'll be a Man, my son!"

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What is the message in Rudyard Kipling's poem "If—"?

When you paraphrase someone else's words (like those in a poem), it means you express their full meaning in your own words.

It's different from summarizing. Paraphrasing means you keep all of the ideas and simply explain them in your own way. So, a paraphrase is usually just as long as the original piece of writing, whereas a summary is shorter.

Here's a paraphrasing of Rudyard Kipling's poem "If:"

Stanza 1:

You might be able to stay sane when everybody else is going crazy and thinking you're the problem. You might be able to put faith in yourself even when nobody else does. (Still, don't discount other people's lack of faith.) You might be able to be patient for a long time. Even if people are saying untrue things about you, you can still be truthful yourself. Likewise, even if people are hateful toward you, don't hate them back. Don't get all self-righteous, though.

Stanza 2:

Think about the future and your goals, but don't get overly caught up in them. Be thoughtful, but don't stop there—actually put your thoughts into action. Understand that victories and failures are both not as big of a deal as you might think. Accept that people will take your own words and warp them to trick other people. When things go really poorly, you have to deal with it and start over as best you can with what you've got.

Stanza 3:

You should understand that winning and losing aren't that big of a deal, and you should just keep striving toward your goals instead of moaning about your failures. Keep working, even if you feel like you physically can't. Use your own drive to persist no matter what.

Stanza 4:

Hang out with big groups, but stay true to yourself. Hang out with famous, influential people, but don't lose touch with reality. Don't give anyone the power to hurt you. Appreciate everybody, but don't worship anyone. Take the time you have and use it well. Do all this stuff, kid, and you'll have everything you want in life, plus you'll be a true adult.
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Justify the title of the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling.

Your question seems to want some kind of statement that supports the given title of this famous poem as opposed to any other title that could have been given. Well, starting off with the basics, "if" is a word that occurs many times throughout the poem, as a variety of characteristics that make a "Man" are presented and qualified. In a sense, the whole poem is an extended "if/then" construction, and the title draws attention to this. It is the last two lines of the poem that serve as the ultimate answer to all of the "if" statements presented in the poem:

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Achieving this state of manhood is therefore not a given; it is dependent upon a lot of hard work and working on character. This therefore is another reason why the conditional structure of "if" is used in this poem. Becoming a man or an adult as described in this poem is not an automatic process. The poem again and again stresses that it is a journey that takes considerable effort and time, and the "if" also implies that there are many who do not succeed. This is why the poem's title is excellent, as it draws attention to the central theme and construction of the poem and makes it very clear that becoming a true man is dependent upon many different aspects.

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What is the message of the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling?

The poem is a father defining for his son the qualities of a good man.. He is setting the parameters or boundaries for his son and giving him a goal to achieve.  The poem deals with life’s  challenges and how to deal with them.

Stanza one deals with being confident about the decisions you make and taking responsibility for those decisions. If others, who cannot take that responsibility for themselves  react negatively, you will be patient with them and not reduce yourself to their level by telling lies or dealing in hate. However, don’t ever think you are above anyone else. 

Stanza Two  states that it is good to dream, but don’t let your dreams control your life.  It is good to think, but don’t just think and not put those thoughts into action.  You will experience triumph and disasters in your life, but don’t take them seriously because they are not the substance of life, they are the extremes.  If you hear things you said misused  or things you have done destroyed, you need to be able to pick yourself up and rebuild them with everything that you have left in you.

Stanza Three counsels don’t be afraid to take risks and possibly lose everything. If you do lose everything, don’t talk about it, just start all over again at the beginning.   When you are tired and exhausted and your body just feels like it can’t continue on, use your mind and your will to tell yourself to “Hold on” and persevere. Push through it.

Stanza four deals with a person’s reaction to others.  You need to be able to talk to large groups of people and yet not let them influence your belief in what is right,wrong, moral, or immoral.  You need to be able to walk with men of power and influence and yet not forget the common man and his needs. You need to know yourself and your beliefs so well that neither your friends nor your enemies can hurt you because you know who you are and what you stand for.  People can depend on you, but don’t let others become too dependent on you. You need to live every single minute of your life to the fullest.  If you do these things, then the world is yours, and you will be  a good man.

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Please give a detailed explanation of the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling.

 “If” by Rudyard Kipling was written over one hundred years ago.  Its application may be more relevant today.  The poem serves as a plan for living a life of integrity and honesty.  The father in the poem provides a set of guidelines with which to live for his son. 

1st Stanza

If you can keep your head when all about you
are losing theirs and blaming it on you…

This verse speaks to not losing a person’s temper.

  • The narrator suggests events when the boy may be challenged:
  • When others blame him for something that he did not do
  • A person should trust himself even if others do not but do not be over confident. Listen to what others have to say.
  • Be patient
  • Do not lie.
    Never hate others.
  • Do not become a braggart by showing off his looks or intelligence.

2nd Stanza

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

  • It is good to dream, but there is more to life than dreaming.
  • It is good to think, but the thoughts must be put into action.
  • There are two opposites that a man must be able to master: winning and losing.
  • If a man wins, it is a good thing but it is not the only thing in life.  If a man loses, he must be able to accept defeat and go on with his life.
  • Sometimes people twist what a person says in order to try to make a man act foolish.
  • When a person has worked on something and it is ruined, the only thing to do is to begin again with whatever is available.

3rd Stanza—

    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

    To serve your turn long after they are goneIf 

Sometimes a man must gamble everything he owns on one thing…if a man loses, then he must start again.  He should not tell others about his loss. 

When a man works, he must give everything he has to it.  Even when the man believes that he cannot do anymore, he must go on until the job is completed.  This shows a man’s character when he is able to never give up.

4th Stanza

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,

  • A man must be able to communicate with anyone whether it is nobility or the common man.
  • Do not give into petty quarrels with friends or enemies. Everyone should be important to a man, but never be consumed by any one person.
  • A man’s day should be filled with a full day’s work.  Never waste time. 
  • If a man can follow these life principles, he will grow to be worthy man.

What a beautiful poem with brilliant maxims purporting the way for a man to live a mature life!

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Please give a detailed explanation of the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling.

"If" is a statement of advice, given to a son by his father. The father, who is also the narrator of the poem, is delivering instructions to his son about how he hopes the son will live his life and conduct himself in his relationships with others. The advice is given in the form of contrasts, with the father describing a poor choice of action and then explaining the better way to act or react.

The first stanza of the poem suggests that the boy needs to be confident, patient, and honest, even if those around him are not acting the same. Even if others blame problems on him unjustly, the son is being asked to rise above those accusations he knows to be untrue. At the same time, however, the son needs to guard against acting conceited or condescending toward others.

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;

The second stanza encourages the son to develop lofty goals of his own, to share them with the world, and to not become discouraged or disillusioned if others reject his ideas. If he knows "the truth you've spoken" is valid and worthwhile, he should continue striving to bring it to reality, even if others twist or reject it.

The third stanza presents the advice as seen on the larger stage of life. The father is exaggerating the extent to which the son should carry his efforts and the potential risks in order to emphasize that "winnings" and "loss" are both temporary in the course of a lifetime. The important thing is to remain true to personal values, regardless of the actions or inactions of others.

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!"

The final stanza is the father's summary. "If" the son is able to follow this advice; if he is able to relate to all those he encounters fairly, respectfully, and equally; if he can succeed in living his life to the fullest while not taking advantage of or harming others, then the father declares the son will have achieved true fulfillment and the moral riches that follow. Not only will the son be able to have the reward of "the Earth and everything that's in it" but, most important of all in the father's opinion, "you'll be a Man, my son!"

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Please give a detailed explanation of the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling.

     If by Rudyard Kipling is a poem which offers instruction in leadership skills.  It is written in iambic pentameter, and is broken up into four stanzas with a rhyme scheme of abab cd cd.  In the poem, the speaker suggests certain qualities that the speaker of the poem should emulate.  The speaker not only points out the specific qualities, but also provides examples of each kind of behavior. 

     The speaker also warns the audience of possible obstacles, or the danger of taking some qualities to the extreme.  For example, "If you can dream- and not make dreams your master" suggests that these traits must be acquired, but not practiced in excess.  In this same line, it is also implied that doing is better than dreaming.  One must not only dream, but act as well.

    The last line reveals what acquiring all of these qualities will achieve.  The audience can achieve manhood.  This suggests that the poem is intended solely for boys.  The poem was written in the late 1800's and most likely reflects the popular notion of the time that men were leaders and women were not.

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Please give a detailed explanation of the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling.

The first stanza touches on several character traits: self-confidence, courage, patience and honesty.  His words "If you can keep your head," "If you can trust yourself," and "If you can wait and not be tired by waiting" show those traits.

The second stanza deals with what you may do for the public, yet not have personal reasons or gain behind it.  You can face trouble as easily as you face success, and you can take something that broke--even though you worked so hard for it--you can rebuild it all over again. That shows a hard work ethic.

The third stanza speaks of taking everything you've worked for and risk it all, and then lose it and have to start again.  The key to that is not telling anyone of your loss.  That shows integrity. That's in the line "And lose, and start again at your beginnings and never breath a word about your loss."  Then it says you must take all you have within you, and when you are at your lowest point, you still have to have the will to try.  This shows perseverance.

The final stanza speaks of you being able to work with anyone and not change who you are or what you stand for.  This poems says that if you can do all of these things, the world is yours and you can be truly called a Man.  "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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In the poem "If " by Rudyard Kipling, summarize the stanzas.

This famous advisory poem by Rudyard Kipling is, in actuality, a single run-on sentence. That makes it rather difficult to usefully summarize the stanzas without referring forward always to the final stanza, which expresses the outcome of what will happen if all the preceding advice is followed. If all the advice given is followed by the reader, "the earth and everything that's in it" will be yours, and "you'll be a man, my son."

Bearing in mind always, then, that each stanza is suggesting ways to ultimately be a man, the first stanza advises keeping a clear head and trusting oneself, even when others don't, without blaming people for doubting you. It advises patience and not responding to lies with lies or hatred with hatred.

The second stanza advises being able to dream and think freely without becoming obsessed by one's dreams or thoughts and pulled away from practical things. Triumph and disaster should be treated the same: that is, responded to with a clear head. Things we spend time on in life will be "broken" and our truths "twisted by knaves," but we must be able to bear this and rebuild.

The third stanza continues on this theme that sometimes we lose everything we have staked, and we must be able to go back to the beginning again without complaining about what we have lost. Indeed, if you can "Hold on when there is nothing in you," the power of will will step up and save you.

In the final stanza, Kipling advises being able to interact with "crowds" and "Kings" both, with all men mattering equally to you—without any meaning too much. This seems a warning against reaching above one's class or fearing to move below it—or privileging one person's opinion over another. Finally, he advises filling our time with as much productivity as we can, in order to "be a man, my son."

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In the poem "If " by Rudyard Kipling, summarize the stanzas.

”If” by Rudyard Kipling presents timeless wisdom given by a father to his son.  The poem’s appeal comes from the sincere and warm advice that can apply to anyone’s life.  Essentially the poem is a blue print for living a life of humility, integrity, and authenticity. Frequently quoted, the poem begins with these two valued lines:

If you can keep your head when all about you  

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,  

Each stanza has a specific type of wisdom to inspire the reader.

Stanza 1

Do not give into anger or bitterness.  

A person must trust himself but listen and allow room for growth.

Show patience; do not lie or hate.  Never brag about your worth or wisdom.

Stanza 2

Dream but live in reality.

Think but work as well.

Winning and losing are short-lived.  They are not reality and must be valued as such. 

Understand that people will not always appreciate your words

Some will try to tear down what you have created; then, you must be able to rebuild your life despite the difficulties.

Stanza 3

Sometimes it is worth it in life to take chances and risk everything. 

Loss and starting over are a part of life.  If there are losses, it is not necessary to talk about it.

Despite weariness and fatigue and age, a person must still uphold his end of the bargain and take responsibility for his actions by never giving up. Persevere.

Stanza 4

A man must be able to communicate with anyone whether it is aristocracy or the common man.

Do not allow people whomever they are to hurt you.

All men should matter, but yours is the final say.

Be able to give everything you have so that no one can say that you did not try your hardest.

Make every minute count.

If you live like this, you will inherit the earth and whatever is in it that you desire. 

More importantly, people will say of you: This is a man!

The poem is tied together with the repetition of the word “If” and provides the thought provoking messages with each eight line stanza.

Summarized briefly, remain humble, avoid extremes, and enjoy life.  Rise above the arguments and find goodness in even the most difficult circumstances.  Kipling wanted the reader to think about all the possibilities of life and make the right decisions in each instance.

The poem challenges the reader, whether man or woman, to throw aside the childish ways of handling life.  He asks the reader to see the difference between the selfishness of youth and the goals and ambitions of the adult.

Kipling’s poem should be appreciated by even those who do like poetry.  This is a poem for the ages!

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Please summerize the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling.

Rudyard Kipling's poem "If" gives encouraging advice on how to succeed, even when faced with challenges and obstacles. 

The first stanza of the poem focuses on establishing redeeming character traits, such as patience, honesty, and courage, and confidence.  Rudyard gives examples on how to build these traits, like "if you can can keep your head" or "if you can trust yourself."

The second stanza suggests developing a committed work ethic and striving toward goals for the greater good.  The second stanza also defers to obstacles that might jeopardize those goals.  Rudyard applauds having dreams, but suggests not to let those dreams become your master.  He encourages the reader to stay focused.

The third stanza addresses obstacles further and how what to do in the face of disaster or loss.  The key character trait in this stanza is perseverance.  Rudyard advises to the reader to start at the beginning and to keep going, also suggesting that it is best to keep personal disappointments to yourself.

The final stanza recommends that being true to yourself.  No matter the situation, and Rudyard gives several examples like kings or crowds, the best policy is to be someone who can adapt to circumstance well, but is able to do so while maintaining his own sense of self and personal intergrity.  Rudyard concludes the poem by saying that if the reader can successfully accomplish these suggestions and develop these good character traits, then the world will be his.  He will be able to call himself a man.

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What is a detailed explanation of the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling?

The poem's content concerns a father defining for his son the qualities of a good man and a leader. He is setting the parameters or boundaries for his son and giving him goals to achieve.  The poem deals with life's challenges and how to deal with them.

Stanza one discusses being confident about the decisions you make and taking responsibility for those decisions.  If others, who cannot take that responsibility for themselves, react negatively to what you have decided, you should be patient with them and not reduce yourself to their level by telling lies or dealing in hate.  However,

"...don't look too good, nor talk too wise" (line 8)

 Don't ever believe you are above someone else.

Stanza two applauds dreaming but warns not to let your dreams control your life.  Thinking is also praised, but Kipling warns that it does no good to think if you don't put those thoughts into action.  Everyone  experiences success and disaster in life, but it is important not to take them too seriously because they are not the substance of life; they are the extremes.  If you hear things you said misquoted or misstated or see things you have done destroyed, you need to

"....stoop and build them up with wornout tools." (line 16)

 Pick yourself up and rebuild with everything that you have left in you.

Stanza Three counsels not to fear taking risks and possibly losing everything.  If you do lose everything, don't dwell on it or talk about it all the time, just start over at the beginning.  When you are tired and exhausted and your body feels like it can't continue on, use your mind and your will to command yourself to

"Hold on" (line 24)

Persevere.  Push through it.

Stanza Four concerns the treatment of others.  You need to be able to talk to large groups of people and yet not let them influence your belief in what is right, wrong, moral, or immoral.  You need to be able to walk with men of power and influence and yet not forget the common man and his needs.  You need to know yourself and your beliefs so well that neither your friends nor your enemies can hurt you because you know who you are and what you stand for.  People can depend on you, but don't let them become too dependent on you.  You need to live every single minute of your life to the fullest.  If you do these things,

"Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!" (lines 31-32)

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Give some great themes of the poem "If" and explain in them in full details?"If" by Rudyard kipling

I think that the "great" theme element might be a bit subjective.  For my bet, I like the idea of maturation that is present in the poem.  The notion of the child being the father of the man is a Romantic theme that is resurrected in the poem.  Specific lines that bring this theme out would be the notion of being able to stand out in a crowd, following one's own voice, and ensuring that there is not a complete capitulation of identity to an individual's social setting.  I think that the poem stresses this idea of being able to mature by being responsive to one's own set of core values which must remain permanent in a tide of continuing and impermanent social setting.  I think that this is one of those themes that allows the poem to transcend times periods and settings.

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Could you provide a line-by-line explanation of Rudyard Kipling's poem "If—?"

In this four-stanza poem, the speaker explains to his son how to behave like a "Man." The poem was written by a middle-class Englishman in 1895, at the height of Britain's power as a vast empire that most of the rest of the world looked up to and admired. His poem provides a snapshot of what an ideal man looked like in that time and to a person of his class.

In the first stanza, the speaker advises his son to stay level-headed and rise above the bad behavior around him, which he will inevitably encounter. People will try to blame him for things, doubt him, keep him waiting, lie to him, and hate him, but he needs to sail through it without getting caught up in it. The last line of the stanza advises him, too, not to take on a holier-than-thou attitude:

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise

In the second stanza, the speaker advises his son to stay cool no matter what happens. Both success and failure can tempt us to do crazy things: don't, says the speaker. If people break up all you have worked hard to build, you should calmly and coolly rebuild it.

Stanza 3 advises that if a man can live boldly and bravely but behave as if it doesn't matter if he happens to lose it all, he will be acting as a true "Man." This is again about staying outwardly cool and stiff upper-lipped no matter what.

Stanza 4 advises behaving the same way no matter who you are dealing with, be it a common person or a king. It also pictures the ideal man standing slightly aloof, even from his friends, not being influenced by them unduly or revealing too much to them: in other words, being one's own person. The poem ends exuberantly, with the speaker that stating if the son can do all these things,

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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Could you provide a line-by-line explanation of Rudyard Kipling's poem "If—?"

Here is a paraphrase of each line, numbered in order:

1. If you can stay calm when other people

2. are losing their composure;

3. if you can remain self-confident even when others lose their faith in you,

4. but at the same time don't get conceited;

5. if you can be patient

6. and don't retaliate by spreading lies when people have slandered you,

7. and don't hate those who despise you

8. without being a snob;

9. if you can plan ahead without getting distracted by impractical imaginings;

10. if you can be analytical but not overly intellectual;

11. if neither victory nor defeat

12. throws you off track;

13. if you can handle it when people take your ideas

14. and misconstrue them just to cause someone to make a mistake;

15. if you can see your plans spoiled

16. and go back to the drawing board and do it all over again;

17. if you make a foolish mistake by risking all your money

18. on something destined to fail

19. and when you lose your money

20. don't complain about it;

21. if you're willing to push yourself physically

22. beyond what seems to be your limit

23. so that you persevere even when

24. you have no physical strength left, just emotional strength;

25. if a lot of people want to listen to you,

26. and if you have influence among important power brokers;

27. if you're impervious to the wounds of friend and foe alike;

28. if you have people who believe in you without being sycophants;

29–30. if you make the most of every minute given to you—

31. you will have limitless opportunity

32. and, more importantly, you will have discovered what it means to truly be a man.

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Could you provide a line-by-line explanation of Rudyard Kipling's poem "If—?"

It is easier to give stanza by stanza,but you can separate the sentences and match them to the lines of the poem. The poem is a father defining for his son the qualities of a good man.. He is setting the parameters or boundaries for his son and giving him a goal to achieve.  The poem deals with life’s  challenges and how to deal with them.

Stanza one deals with being confident about the decisions you make and taking responsibility for those decisions. If others, who cannot take that responsibility for themselves  react negatively, you will be patient with them and not reduce yourself to their level by telling lies or dealing in hate. However, don’t ever think you are above anyone else. 

Stanza Two  states that it is good to dream, but don’t let your dreams control your life.  It is good to think, but don’t just think and not put those thoughts into action.  You will experience triumph and disasters in your life, but don’t take them seriously because they are not the substance of life, they are the extremes.  If you hear things you said misused  or things you have done destroyed, you need to be able to pick yourself up and rebuild them with everything that you have left in you.

Stanza Three counsels don’t be afraid to take risks and possibly lose everything. If you do lose everything, don’t talk about it, just start all over again at the beginning.   When you are tired and exhausted and your body just feels like it can’t continue on, use your mind and your will to tell yourself to “Hold on” and persevere. Push through it.

Stanza four deals with a person’s reaction to others.  You need to be able to talk to large groups of people and yet not let them influence your belief in what is right,wrong, moral, or immoral.  You need to be able to walk with men of power and influence and yet not forget the common man and his needs. You need to know yourself and your beliefs so well that neither your friends nor your enemies can hurt you because you know who you are and what you stand for.  People can depend on you, but don’t let others become too dependent on you. You need to live every single minute of your life to the fullest.  If you do these things, then the world is yours, and you will be  a good man.

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What is the critical appreciation of the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling?

In the poem "If," the author writes a didactic poem. He uses illustrations to give lessons to live by. The speaker is teaching his son lessons in life. If the son will follow the speakers instructions, he will inherit the earth and become a man. 

The first stanza teaches the son significant virtues that will help the son become a man. He admonishes the son to keep self control when others are losing theirs and "blaming it on you." Keep self confidence and "trust yourself when all men doubt you." 

The speaker instructs the son to live a balanced life. The speaker teaches the son the importance of patience. The speaker teaches the importance of having honesty. The speaker teaches the the son not to hate:

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;

Stanza two continues in the teaching mode. Didactic messages fill each line. Dream but do "not make dreams your master."

Stanza three speaks to the son and advises that he should be able to lose it all and begin again and never utter a word about your losses:

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:

Stanza four sums up final instructions. It is important to be humble and walk worthy to be with kings yet not "lose the common touch." Don't allow friends nor foes to hurt you. Love unconditionally. Follow these instructions and you will inherit the earth and become a man:

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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What are your predictions about Rudyard Kipling's poem "If—"?

When reading Rudyard Kipling's poem "If—" for the first time, the single-worded title seems puzzling. However, if we closely examine the title, it illuminates the poem's content and meaning.

In the English language, the word "if" is often used to introduce a conditional clause. It often works with "then" to describe a condition and the subsequent result of meeting said condition. For example, let us examine the following sentence: if you have a fever, then you are sick. In this sentence, "if" is used to introduce a condition, which in this case is having a fever. In the second part of the sentence, "then" precedes the conclusion that follows the meeting of the condition. If a person meets the condition of having a fever, then it can be determined that the person is sick.

With this in mind, the title of the poem becomes less mysterious. We can now reason that the poem will focus on conditions of some sort, and what results will follow if these conditions are met. As we read on, we realize that the poem is written from the point-of-view of a parent, presumably a father. The father provides a son with a long list of conditions that must be met in order for the son to attain manhood. The framework of the poem is a parent speaking to a son, using "if" to list the conditions that the son must meet in order to attain the result of being a man (i.e., if you meet these conditions, then you will be a man).

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What is your opinion on the poem 'If' by Rudyard Kipling?

I like this poem because I agree with the way in which the speaker defines what it means to be a "man."  (I do not think these values are more masculine than feminine though -- I think it would be good if all people were like this.)

I was raised to value the idea that you try your best in every situation and that you do not give up no matter what people say about you.  You need to be stoic and to take the good things that happen along with the bad.  I think that this is a good way for human beings to live.  We need to be decisive and determined.  We need to do what we think is right and disregard the opinions of other people once we are sure that we are doing the right thing.

I think Kipling is arguing for these values and I agree with them so I like the poem.

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What is your opinion on the poem 'If' by Rudyard Kipling?

It sounds to me that this is going to have to be a personal reflection on Kipling's poem.  I think that few, if any, could effectively compose a response on this because in the end, your thoughts are your own.  Yet, I think that a couple of guiding questions could be asked here that might be able to help you compose your own response on the thoughts you had on the poem.  The first question I would ask would be how you felt after reading it?  Was the meaning of the poem clear to you?  After reading the poem, did you feel that you were able to fully understand what the poet wanted you to understand?  If so, what did you get out of the poem?  If not, where in the poem were you confused?  From whatever message you obtained from the poem, did you agree with it?  Explaining why you did or did not agree with what was being said might also be a good way for you to compose your thoughts on Kipling's work.  Finally, I would identify the line in the poem that stuck with you the most and allowed you to think in the broadest possible of ways.  In analyzing this line, a greater connection will be formed between you and the text.

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What is the theme of Rudyard Kipling's poem "If"?

While there are several themes in Rudyard Kipling's "If," an overriding theme is the striving for balance on the way to spiritual enlightenment--the Middle Way of Buddism, or the Golden Mean of Aristotle. 

In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Friar Laurence cautions Romeo, 

These violent delights have violent ends,
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder (2.6.9-10)

And, in Kipling's "If" the father advises his son of the same temperance, encouraging his child to strive for the Middle Way. This perfect balance is achieved by restraining from excess:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; 
Much as in the Proverbs of the Bible, Kipling makes effective use of parallel structure and repetition, which both serve to reinforce his idea of the need to be able to both ignore doubt and make allowances for doubt. 
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,  Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, 
Certainly, too, this repetition and parallel structure enhance the effectiveness as well as the theme of the didactic poem "If." This theme relates to the teaching of Aristotle with the Golden Mean, as well as alluding to a basic teaching of Buddhism with the Middle Way.

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