Thursday, April 11, 2013

I - If

I've never been much for poetry. It's just not my thing. But one poem has always stuck with me. I was forced to memorize it in junior high. Now that I'm an adult, I find it even more inspiring and insightful. 

First, my spin on his poem. Because I could never follow his lovely words. My apologies to Mr. Kipling.

 If - by Cheryl Johnson

If you can keep your head when all around you
You’re always cleaning up some pee or poo;
If you can trust yourself when your kids doubt you
And accept the fact your life is now a zoo;

If piles of dirty laundry overwhelm you
And you’re so sick of hearing “That’s not fair!”
If all you want is just some peace and quiet
And no more ‘Mom, I’m out of underwear!”

If thoughts of making one more lunch or dinner
Make you want to gouge your eyes right out
And every day you’re making the same promise –
*Today* will be the day I will not shout.

If you can’t sit down for even two minutes,
If all the bedtime battles leave you spent
If every single day you feel like leaving
And you’re wondering when the wall got that new dent

If you love your children more than life itself,
Although your life is no longer your own;
You know you’ve learned much more than you have taught,
Then join the ranks of Moms; you’re not alone.

 Now for the real thing.


by Rudyard Kipling

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!


  1. Fantastic! Your version is very cute, and easy to remember too. I really enjoyed that, thanks. :)

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog:

  2. I hate poetry too. Most of it, anyway. I wrote about it for my P word as well. popping in from the a-z. Nice blog! New follower here. Come visit me, if you'd like:
    from The Dugout