"If" is a poem written by Rudyard Kipling, a British author and poet who was born in India in 1865. The poem was first published in 1909 and has since become one of Kipling's most famous works. It is a didactic poem that offers advice on how to live a virtuous and successful life.
The poem is structured in four stanzas, each containing four lines, or quatrains. The rhyme scheme is abab cdcd efef gg, meaning that the first and third lines of each stanza rhyme, as do the second and fourth lines. This rhyme scheme helps to create a sense of structure and order within the poem.
The poem begins with the line "If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you," which sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The speaker advises the reader to maintain their poise and composure, even when facing difficult or challenging situations.
The second stanza advises the reader to trust their own judgement and to not be swayed by the opinions of others. It says, "If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you / But make allowance for their doubting too." The third stanza advises the reader to be brave and courageous, even in the face of fear or danger. It says, "If you can dream—and not make dreams your master / If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim."
The final stanza of the poem concludes with the line "Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, / And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!" This line suggests that if the reader follows the advice given in the poem, they will be able to achieve great things and be successful in life.
Overall, the structure of "If" is simple and straightforward, but the poem's message is powerful and enduring. Its rhyme scheme and quatrain structure give the poem a sense of order and structure, while the use of repetition helps to reinforce its main points. The poem's didactic nature makes it a timeless classic, offering valuable advice to readers of all ages.
"If" by Rudyard Kipling is a poem that consists of four stanzas, each containing four lines, or quatrains. The poem is written in iambic pentameter, which means that each line has ten syllables with a rhythmic pattern of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, or "da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM." This gives the poem a steady and measured rhythm that adds to its power and impact.
The poem is structured around a series of "ifs," in which Kipling presents a series of conditions and then suggests how a person might respond to them. Each stanza presents a different condition and the corresponding response, creating a clear and logical structure that helps to convey the poem's message.
The first stanza deals with the condition of "if you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you." In this situation, Kipling advises the reader to "trust yourself" and to "carry on." This stanza speaks to the importance of maintaining one's composure in difficult situations and not getting caught up in the chaos of others.
The second stanza addresses the condition of "if you can wait and not be tired by waiting." In this case, Kipling advises the reader to "be strong" and to "wait." This stanza speaks to the value of patience and the importance of being able to endure difficult or challenging circumstances.
The third stanza deals with the condition of "if you can dream—and not make dreams your master." In this situation, Kipling advises the reader to "dream—and not make dreams your master." This stanza speaks to the power of imagination and the importance of not getting overly focused or obsessed with one's dreams or goals.
The fourth stanza addresses the condition of "if you can make one heap of all your winnings / And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss." In this case, Kipling advises the reader to "trust yourself" and to "do the best that you can." This stanza speaks to the importance of taking calculated risks and being willing to put everything on the line in pursuit of one's goals.
Overall, "If" is a poem that is structured around a series of "ifs" that present different conditions and the corresponding responses. Its clear and logical structure helps to convey the poem's message and adds to its power and impact.