POETRY RESPONSE: “If” (by D. H.)

Posted on September 26, 2008. Filed under: Poetry Responses | Tags: , |

What if?  What if you did this or that? We have all hit these words what if, but have you ever read the poem?  I have, it’s called “If” by Rudyard Kipling.

After I was done reading this poem, I realized these phrases that the poet used were like steps to becoming a man.  For example, in the first stanza, Kipling stated that “you can trust yourself when everyone else doubts you.”  That’s one of the steps, and I believe that is true.

My reaction to this poem was yes, I do believe in some of these steps like I stated in the first paragraph.  In addition to the other steps, if you can “watch the things you gave your life to, broken”, to me this means you need to be able to take in pain.

I would not mind to read other poems by this poet but I would also like to read others.  I would like to read more poems by this poet because of this poem.  I say this because this poem did state some true facts that I have found helpful.

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4 Responses to “POETRY RESPONSE: “If” (by D. H.)”

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Drew,
It appears that you not only enjoyed this poem but were able to apply it to your life. That is a sign of true learning! Perhaps the next time you are faced with a decision, you can ask yourself, “What would happen if?” before you make your choice.
I look forward to reading your comments about other poets in the future.
Miss G

Hi Ms. Gilchrist! I have to agree with you 100 percent. Drew connected to his life and you could really feel it!

Hello Drew. I think you have a great teacher in Miss Morris. I’m sending you this comment from England, which is where Kipling came from.

The poem ‘If’ is one of my all time faves, in fact, I used to carry it with me everywhere in my wallet, I wrote it by hand in the smallest copperplate script I could manage and folded it neatly to fit. Whenever things seemed a little difficult or perhaps the extra mile eluded me I would re-read the poem and draw some strength from it.

The poem works at many levels and I see it as a snapshot, among other things, of an age when different values prevailed and the idea of self reliance was far more important. I’ve always read it as the voice of a father or paternal figure counselling a young person in the ways of wisdom and the attitudes that would be useful as they began their own journey in life.

Good luck in your studies and best wishes.

Lee Baldwin.

A very well written overview of the poem! I think you’ll be interested in re-reading this one in a few years, too, to see if you “read it differently” then, too. Nice job!


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