Sunday, May 26, 2024

An Artwork that Influenced me Deeply

Written by Namrata Kalani (Grade 8)

“Poetry is an art that is created using thoughts that breathe and words that burn.”

I have always been fond of reading stories, novels, articles,articles and poems in my leisure time. Whenever I was mesmerised or extensively inspired by any poem, I would spend hours wondering how someone could have such creative and artistic thoughts and, furthermore, how beautifully these small clouds of imagination were transformed into a language of words by the poets. It appeared to me as if the poets created a rainbow called a poem using colourful and vibrant thoughts lying within their minds that acted as clouds of imagination and sun rays of creativity.

Out of so many poems that I have read till now, there is one that inspires me intensely, and that is the poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling. Rudyard Kipling has been one of my favourite poets. He was an English novelist, short-story writer, poet, and journalist. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature for his great pieces, which included ‘The Jungle Book’ and the poem ‘If’. In his autobiography, he said that in writing the poem, he was inspired by the character of Leander Starr Jameson.

The main significance of this poem is that it is based on parental advice given by a father to his son in order to develop into a man in the true sense. In the poem, the father briefs his son about the complicated circumstances he would have to face in times of adversity and the way he needs to deal with them. Hence, there are a number of precious lessons and values taught by every line of this poem. In the very first line, Kipling writes, “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.” These beautiful lines teach us that one should remain calm and poised even when others are losing their temperament and making one the cause of all problems. The next line indicates the virtue of self-trust and resilience when the world doubts you.

These lines taught me that it isn’t always necessary to give justifications, because sometimes waiting patiently for the right time is a better option. A few lines of this poem shed light on the successes and failures of life. Before reading this poem, I was a person who believed truly in success. I hated and was broken down in stages of failure in my life, but when I read this poem, my mindset changed as I realised the importance of learning more than winning. The lines of this poem instilled a spirit within me to work really hard and sincerely, but at the same time, I had the imperishable courage to get up and try again with all the experience I have gained, even if I lose.

This poem always strengthens my willpower and creates the burning desire within me to be focused on my aim no matter how obstacles enter my life, whether in the form of failures, dishonesty, hatred from people, lack of support, blame, bad luck, and so on. But on the other hand, this poem comprises lines like “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.” That reminds me to always retain my originality and be virtuous, no matter whether I am a part of the high authorities or common people. The lines also show that the real man is he who treats all kinds of people around him as equal, has a balanced perspective, a neutral mode of nature, and is emotionally powerful at all times.

The last few lines have been my favourites as they deal with the true source of power—time that waits for no one and is impartial to all. Those who respect time, time respects them. Kipling tries to acknowledge in some of the lines that time once gone won’t come, but the coming time is a full, fresh opportunity to compensate for the loss for the betterment of the future. At the end, we get to know from the last line that one who encompasses all the virtues explained in the poem—independence, perseverance, self-discipline, optimism, and humility—will attain timeless wisdom and maturity and will also become a fully realised individual, a person of character and substance. Thus, this is the best poem in my opinion, as I am truly inspired and captivated by the way Rudyard Kipling has encapsulated all the vital lessons of life in the form of this inspiring and illuminating poem, ‘If’ which is a great piece of advice for all teenagers to develop into better people.

Featured Image Courtesy – Sergio Caredda


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