Wednesday, March 30, 2011

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master

I love poetry. I don't write it very well, but I have memories of creating silly little poems from the time I was five or six. This is before my phase where I was going to be a fashion designer (that one stuck until I was about 19 and realized I couldn't draw or sew).  I never even realized how much I wrote until I found a box of old paper work in some kids things my mom sent out to me. It was a Nike shoe box, and there was horrendous poem after poem in there about heartbreak (my own), boys I liked (I had totally forgotten who they were until I read them, and then I laughed), and even about my cat. 

The best part of that box was that it showed I was always writing. Somehow or another, writing something, anything, has kept me together all of these years. Even if I don't remember writing it. 

Now my kids are into poetry in a small way. Although they were somewhat forced by having to perform a poem they picked for an oratory contest in school, they both really got into it. My son memorized his poem, "Steve the Super Hero" by Ken Nesbitt and did hand actions with it as well. My daughter and I picked this poem by Rudyard Kipling. You may know him for writing The Jungle Book which was the basis for the subsequent Disney movie, but he was also an amazing poet. When she recites this (from memory, I'm so proud), I get teary. Its beautiful. 

Happy rainy Wednesday

If 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!

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