Framed and hanging on the living room wall in the home of my grandparents there was a poem which was a significant influence on my teenage years. I still have a copy on my wall today.

Rudyard Kipling’s “If” was written c.1895 and was well known in the early years of last century. My grandparents and aunt and uncles could slip a phrase from the poem seamlessly into everyday conversations.

The poem has been on my mind today as we mark the feast of the beheading of St. John the Baptist since the poem begins “If you can keep your head when all about you / are losing theirs and blaming it on you…”

I thought you might appreciate it.

2 Responses to "if"
  1. I had this poem commissioned as an art piece for my boys to hang on their bedroom walls recently. It’s one of the great poems still and fantastic for young boys especially to meditate on. Thanks Fr John.

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