"IF"

By: Rudyard Kipling

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Background

  • Born December 30th, 1865 in Bombay, India.
  • Known for writing “The Jungle Book.”
  • He began to work as a journalist when he was 15.
  • He was a recipient of the 1907 Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • Died January 18th, 1936.

Theme


  • The poet is trying to teacher the reader what is means to be a humble person. What it takes to be a man and how important it is to not give up even when all hope is loss. He’s trying to teach his son that there are obstacles in life that may be harder than others but it’s always good to have control when things turn out the way you didn’t.

Figurative Language

  • Personification: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those

two impostors just the same.” The poet is comparing Triumph and Disaster to winning and losing.

  • Metaphor: “If you can fill the unforgiving minute, with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.” The poet is saying that with every minute you have in life, make the most of it. “Unforgiving Minute” refers that every minute there’s only 60 seconds long-no more no less.

Poem

  • Written in Iambic Perimeter
  • Rhyme Scheme: ABABCDCD
  • Four Stanzas; Eight sets of Lines