Skip to main content

Rudyard Kipling, #1

This - the poetry of Rudyard Kipling - was a bit of a surprise. As a kid I have read (in Russian translation) "The Jungle Book" and other Mowgli stories, the "Just So Stories", etc. So, I was firmly under impression that he only wrote prose and Kipling's poetry became a small, but very pleasant discovery for me.

I can't quite pinpoint why I like Kipling's poetry (for me, a non-native speaker, it is often hard to appreciate English poetry), but I do. Here's one of my favorites:


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 imposters 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 wornout 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 breath 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! 


Popular posts from this blog

Alan Mathison Turing

Update (11/23/2013): " Now, nearly half a century after the war hero's suicide, Queen Elizabeth II has finally granted Turing a pardon." ( ) Long overdue!!! With academic background in applied mathematics and computer science and years of experience in Information Technology it would be incredibly surprising if I didn't know of Alan Turing, or so I thought. Sure, I knew who he was and had a good idea of what he had contributed to the fields of mathematics, logic, cryptography, and of course computer science, which he basically founded; and things like Turing Machine, Turing Test, and Enigma Code-breaking have been widely popularized. I also knew that he died relatively young, but I am ashamed to admit that I didn't know anything about the circumstances surrounding his premature death. That is until I read the following in the book titled  "The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood" by James Gleick: "Turing's hom

Tempus Fugit

I recently started reading what promises to be a very interesting book - "The Time Paradox" by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd. It opens up quite unexpectedly with a story about Capuchin Crypt, a somewhat surreal place located under one of the churches in Rome. This is the kind of stuff one comes to expect from Dan Brown's novels (say, "The Da Vinci Code" or "Angels and Demons"), but much less so from the book, written by a psychology professor from Stanford and a research director for Yahoo!, that according to one review - "reveals how to better use your most irreplaceable resource [time], based on solid science and timeless wisdom". Wikipedia - "The Capuchin Crypt is a small space comprising several tiny chapels located beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini on the Via Veneto near Piazza Barberini in Rome, Italy. It contains the skeletal remains of 4,000 bodies believed to be Capuchin friars buried by their o