Kipling - If

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Rudyard Kipling, author of the Jungle Book was also a fantastic poet. I first came across this a few years back, while browsing through TV channels and I saw Suggs of the ska band Madness read the poem as part of an advert. I can't remember what was being advertised, but that's beside the point, because the poem is so powerful, I only hope that my voice is up to it:


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 impostors 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 worn-out 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 breathe 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!

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Good poem

I like the poem a lot. I'm not quite sure if I fully understand it's meaning, but it is indeed very powerful.

I also like the way you read the poem. Very set back, almost careful as if you don't want to hurt your listeners with the power of the poem.

Adding music to it would be a good idea. The best way to add some tune I can think of is with the help of Audacity. You can import various tracks into the program and edit the music or the voice track as you see fit.

{ Review Request Club }

Coop responds:

So by the sound of things, I really don't know my own strength with this program yet. Alright, I'll see if I can find the appropriate pieces and get cracking on the next one.

Something you don't see that often.

I have to admit that I don't know what a few words mean in this poem. But I don't think that that isn't necessary. Your voice is very nice for a poem like this, and just hearing it is quite relaxing.

It was a good idea to post the `lyrics` in the author comments. Because I read it with the spoken word, it´s like an audio book. Very professional.
I even learned a few words from the poem.

I wouldn´t mind a very soft background song though. I bet you can find or make something that fits with a nice poem like this.

I haven´t heard from the real writer before, by the way. But he´s certainly a good poet.

Review request club

Coop responds:

Surely you've seen Disney's Jungle Book at some stage in your life? Rudyard Kipling wrote The Jungle Book as well.

I'm after some decent background music for my reading, but even if I could find it, I don't have the skills and / or programs to adapt it.

If you know someone that could, give me a shout, as I have big ideas for 2012!

Good job!

I'm impressed by the poem. It took me two repeats to completely understand it's meaning.

Voice: 9/10.

The only con is maybe that your voice sounds broken, but yeah; it's hard to make it smooth.

Poem: 10/10.

Of course, it makes much sense once you understand it.

All I can say is keep trying to smooth your voice. I took my time writing this review. :\

Coop responds:

Battling being a little hoarse and not quite having the right equipment (a stand and pop-guard should help a lot) were my major downfalls here. I intend to read more on here, so stay tuned :D

Credits & Info


Waiting for 2 more votes

Dec 28, 2011
7:37 AM EST
Spoken Word
File Info
1.8 MB
2 min 1 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.