Monday, February 2, 2009


This week's Monday Memories is not a cop out, I swear. I've been busy at work, and at life, but the following is something I've been meaning to post for a long time. It was one of the first poems that really spoke to me, I'm pretty sure it had some influence over both my writing and the kind of life I wanted to lead.

This poem is one of those things that serves to ground me when I get stressed out. It's relaxing to recite the words over in my head, calming my nerves. It sends me back to the primary grades, where it was initially taught, and then forward to fifth grade when we were forced to memorize and recite poetry. It's always been a favourite, so today, dear readers, I'm sharing it with you... in hopes that you'll share your favourites back.


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!

Rudyard Kipling

Also, check out the video I posted over at A co-worker emailed it to me this morning and it just amazed me.