Ifs.. & Buts..

If I could keep my head when all about me
Lose theirs and blame it on me;
If I could trust myself when all men doubt me,
And hold on to my self-respect,
no matter how strong their doubt be;

But how can I, for I am a sheer mortal,
And I always seek trust in other’s eyes,
I succumb to my mind in the battle;
Even if my soul grieves and cries.

If I could wait and not be tired of 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;

But how can I not be tired of waiting
When I am forlorn and seek your embrace,
How can I free myself of lies when the untruth scathing
Leads me to the front of the race,
How can I render love, for hatred and despise;
And I revere to look too good and talk too wise.

If I could dream and not make dreams my master;
If I could think and not make thoughts my aim;
If I could meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same.

But dreams are the path to success,
And success is what all covet for;
My thoughts which lack the reality harness,
None but only I can conquer.
But how can I overlook the idiosyncrasy   
When triumph makes me exultant and snobbish,
While failures bring distress & anguish.

If I could bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to makes a trap for fools,
Or watch the things I gave my life to broken,
And stoop and build them up with worn out tools;

But how can I bear those words which shatter my heart,
The heart, a fool, mercilessly trapped.
How can I watch silently when my world falls apart;
And keep on trying to put things back with
the last link snapped.

If I could make one heap of all my winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at my beginnings
And never breathe a word about my loss;

But how can I risk all that I have on one turn of pitch-and-toss
For my winnings are a benediction that The Almighty himself gave;
And if I do, and lose it all, then will I be adept to bear the loss,
How can I be so tenacious, how can I be so brave.

If I could force my heart and nerve and sinew
To serve my turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in me
Except the Will which says “Hold on“;

But how can I force my heart when my strength capitulates
And serve alone with my allies gone,
It is so suave to chose the easy trail and cede to the baits;
For I am a human and for my selfish means I am born.

If I could talk with the crowds and keep my virtue,
Or walk with the kings – nor lose the common touch;

But how can I hold on to my virtue,
When the crowd toils to hue me in their colour.
As I walk with the kings, my head held high in a false revue
My feet drift away from the ground and there is no place
For the common savor.

If neither foes nor loving friends could cause me hurt or rue;
If all men count on me, but none too much;

If neither my friends nor foes could cause me pain,
Then I would become invincible, but phlegmatic,
As pain and happiness come hand in hand, I won’t feel anything again.
When I stand by all men in their perturbed times,
How can I act so diplomatic..

If I could fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty second’s worth of distance run –

But how can I brood over the minutes
When my life is judged by the years I live;
And for all the worldly aspirations,
Which are beyond limits;
Sixty seconds is what you give.

Mine would be the Earth and everything in it,
And – which is more – I could be a Man, and not just a son.

But how can I conquer the Earth and everything in it;
When I fail to heed such simple advice.
I wish for trivial things and petty joys, I admit;
I do not wish to be a Man of Power or Glory,
My Love & Perseverance suffice;

For I, my Lord, am no prodigious Man,
But a humble and ignoble ‘Woman’.   

PS: Inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem ‘If’ written in 1896 and first published in 1910 in his collection of short stories and poems, Rewards and Fairies.

17 Opinions:

Tanmaya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nil said...

Im just. Absolutely zziped after reading this!
darling, you're talented in bunches.

You have been awarded on my blog.
Go take it :)

The West Wind said...

@Tanmaya: Thanks.. I am happy I could relate to u..U r most welcome to drop by whenever u please.
@ Nil: Thanks a lot.. ur appreciation matters a lot to me. And thanks for the award too..

Karthik said...

Splendid! I so loved it. I could relate to it very much.

Tanmaya said...

Thank you for introducing me to rudyard kipling's "If"...
It was a splendid experience reading his poem...

Shadow Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shadow Girl said...

I would have complimented and flattered you if hadn't rendered me Speechless!!..so I say Kipling would have turned green in jEaloUsy..

sonu said...

AWE .. wait for it .. SOME !!! ;D

NesQuarX said...

If I could read through and move on
Like a thousand other posts I read

But how can I move on just like that
When it all makes sense so much?

Dreamer said...

Wow! That was amazing! I love the way you have put your own spin on a familiar poem. Keep going! Cheers!

The West Wind said...

@Sonu: Thanks :D
@NesQuarx: That was lovely.. thanks a ton.. I greatly value ur appreciation.
@Dreamer: Thanks & Welcome here!!

Tulika said...

Amazing.. Awe inspiring... Fabulous.. I'm falling short of adjectives !!

This so reminds me of "Song of Myself" by Whitman.

I'm glad too that you stumbled upon my blog and I could reach yours.


The West Wind said...

Tulika welcome to my blog. I am glad you liked it. Thanks for your kind words :)

bondgal_rulz said...


Anything I write will not be able to do justice to the masterpiece that I have just witnessed. I do not have the vocab to do so.

*awe-struck applause*

The West Wind said...

@Bondgal: Thanks for visiting my blog. I ma truely flattered :D I am glad u liked it. Welcome here.. U r an amazing writer urself.
PS: We share the same name :)

ABHISHEK SiM said...

beautifully expressed. sharp contrasts and yet such synergy - beautiful. i was reminded of Rudyard Kiplings: "If..". But, you added a but to it. (puns unintended).

Preeti said...

"If" itself is a legendary poem, to take on that and add on to it is a Herculean task! Splendid..:)
I have always been a fan of "If"..Best lines ever:
"If I could dream and not make dreams my master; If I could think and not make thoughts my aim;"
Oh and if you have the time, do have a look at Federer and Nadal's recitation of this poem. Its there on Youtube. The two best champions have done a great justice to the words!

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