"If" by Rudyard Kipling is a poem that speaks about the qualities that make a person successful and noble in character. The poem is structured into four stanzas, each containing eight lines, and follows a consistent rhyme scheme of ABABCDCD.
In the first stanza, the speaker urges the reader to keep their composure and not lose their head when those around them are losing theirs. The speaker emphasizes the importance of trusting oneself in times of doubt and making allowances for the doubts of others.
In the second stanza, the speaker advises the reader to wait patiently and not be easily swayed by lies or hate. The speaker also cautions the reader against appearing too good or wise, suggesting that such appearances can be detrimental.
The third stanza speaks about the importance of having dreams and thoughts but not allowing them to become one's sole focus or identity. The speaker also stresses the importance of treating triumph and disaster equally, as they are both transient and impermanent.
The fourth stanza encourages the reader to have the strength to bear the consequences of their actions, including having their words twisted or seeing their life's work destroyed. The speaker urges the reader to persevere and rebuild despite these setbacks.
The final stanza concludes the poem with an exhortation to fill every moment with purpose and action, using every second to move closer towards one's goals. The speaker suggests that by embodying these qualities, the reader will be deemed worthy of the earth and all that it encompasses.
Overall, the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling is a motivational call to action, urging readers to strive for the qualities of patience, composure, humility, resilience, and perseverance in order to achieve success and nobility in character.