Wednesday, July 16, 2008

IF by RUDYARD KIPLING



INTRODUCTION:

The poem is about the tenets of life; a balanced life between moderation and humility; a request to uphold certain principles in life.


FIRST STANZA

~ Continue to be sensible if others are not (lines 1-2)

~ Trust yourself when others doubt you (line 3)

~ Give others the benefits of the doubt (line 4)

~ Wait patiently (line 5)

~ Don’t repay and deal in lies (line 6) (avoid lying and being lied to)

~ Don’t repay hatred (line 7) (put aside all hatred)

~ Be moderate in your appearance and speech (line 8)

~ Be humble and not arrogant


SECOND STANZA

~ Don’t be a dreamer; materialize your dream (line 9)

~ Don’t `think’ to impress (line 10) (not to show off)

~ Accept success and failure equally (lines 111-12) (be open-minded)

~ Be patient when the truth you have spoken is distorted by evil man (lines 13-14)

~ Be strong in rebuilding what you have lost (lines 15-16)

~ Be strong in times of failure


THIRD STANZA

~ Dare to take risks and don’t get attached to material possessions (lines 17-18)

~ Persevere to start again after every loss (lines 19-20)

~ Don’t give up mentally and in your will even if there is physical limitation (lines 21-22)

~ Have the will power not to quit against all odds (lines 23-24)


FOURTH STANZA

~ Maintain your virtue and humility when socializing (lines 25-26)

~ Live in harmony with others yet do not allow others to hurt you (lines 27-28)

~ Don’t waste time but only for beneficial activities (lines 29-30)

~ As a result – you will enjoy blessings while you are alive (lines 31)

~ Socialise without fear or prejudice

~ Be dependable


** In short, it is some advice from a father to his son and advice to man in general on how to be a successful person in life. It is also to inspire, encourage and motivate a person to do so.


THEMES

~ The basic theme is on character building. The poem exhorts the virtues of patience, determination, honesty, courage, independence, humility and belief in oneself. The end-product is to become a true man who is perfect in every way.





No comments: