Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I am not a poem person. I do my kiddish rhyming ones, once in a while, but that is about it. Reading poems never interested me, even now they don't. But there are a few, and I mean a very few that have remained with me from the time I was in school. I owe it to my amazing teachers, for making those poems come alive to me. For making me understand what they really mean. Of all the poems I have ever read, if I had to pick, just one, it would undoubtedly be If by Rudyard Kipling. I simply love this poem. It was written by the poet for his son, as guidelines for leading a worthy life, and I don't think the advice can get any better than this.

I can harp on about every word in that poem, and because it speaks to me a lot better now, that I am all grown up, than it did when I was in school. And I love it some more for that now. Every word makes sense, and teaches so much. If we could be half of what this poem inspires in us, we would be some of the most wonderful people in this world. The words in this poem can be put to use in an context, absolutely any. From work place issues, to in-law issues the advice holds true everywhere. That I think is because this poem is for the core person that we need to be, and not about anything else. It is really difficult for me to express in words just how much I love this poem.

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
Are the lines that have been running in my mind, since yesterday. The meaning suddenly became crystal clear to me. It is about having faith in yourself, without being conceited is it not? Often enough, we get so sure of ourselves, that we ignore anyone, who does not believe in us. We need to remain grounded, and humble, no matter how much we succeed, how high we climb. It is a very difficult to task to achieve this combination, but it is indeed the perfect one too. In a different context, if we apply this to religious tolerance, does it not work perfectly too? We may be completely devoted to our own religion, but that should not breed intolerance for others, who do not.

It is not an easy task, to be confident about your own self, and still be open to contradictions by others. And yet, I think the really successful and great people, never belittle the doubts and contradictions of others, do they? I wish I could achieve this trait, wholly and completely, from within, where I am as open to other's doubts over me, as I am sure of myself.

So, what is your favourite poem, and what do you take away from it?


Sraboney said...

Who doesn't want to achieve this trait...

I'm not much of a poetry person, more prose...

Piper .. said...

this is one of the few poems I`ve been inspired by,too. Otherwise I like a few of Emily Dickinson`s poems(one amongst many favs is 'I measure every grief I meet). I`m also very fond of JOy Goswami`s poetry. Try reading some if you can. And then there`s Woody GUthrie - a liitle dark for my taste but fabulous. All time fav is his poem 'America'.

Piper .. said...

I`m sorry - my bad. America is by Allen Ginsberg and I meant that Ginsberg is too dark for my taste. I was listening to Guthrie today(after long time) and hence I wrote Woody GUthrie instead of Ginsberg. Have you heard Guthrie btw?

Passionate Goof said...

Sraboney - A lot of people unfortunately don't care, and that is why the world is in the state it is today.

Piper - You really are into poetry aren't you?? Will find and read your recommendations. :)