Wednesday, July 13, 2011

If

We just bought a really great and thoughtful book called "Rules For My Unborn Son" It it filled with great advice for more than just boys, but men and women too... One of the "rules" was that everyone should memorize their favorite poem.

What's your favorite poem?

Mine is: If by Rudyard Kipling:

If

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!

15 comments:

Nat. L.C said...

I don't think I read enough poetry, (I tend to find my poetry in the lyrics of music or the dialogue in classical plays) however there are a few that have stuck with me over the years: W.B Yeats 'He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven'and E.A.P "The Tell-Tale Heart". Last year I took part in a recording of poems to celebrate American female poets and I was given some Sylvia Plath to read (In my broad Scots accent!) Heartbreaking, sad, painful, angry...what does it say about me that her poems speak to me?! Haha. "Mad Girls Love Song" by Sylvia and "Phenomenal Woman" by Maya Angelou...at the moment they are my favourites. I've only dipped my toe into the world of poetry though and I'm sure i'll discover many more delightful gems out there.
If you fancy listening to some poetry with the abrasive scottish accent then you should check out http://brucedownie.blogspot.com/2010_07_01_archive.html :)
P.S I just discoverd your blog the other day and it's beautiful. Very open and honest with a healthy dose of humour thrown in. Stunning artist too.

Anonymous said...

I love poety but my favorite poem is actually a haiku that your brother wrote. It actually true. It's called Portland. and it was an the 100Monkey's myspace page for a long time. It's just a great reprsentation to the crap I live in. I don't know what he was inspired by but at the moment it's kind of the idea of the city.

Ryann Rathbone said...

What is the poem he wrote? do you have it?

SavageGrace said...

Here's the haiku she was talking about:

“Portland”

“girls girls” on the sign
winking in neon night lights
not “women” inside

-j.action


He's also posted these:

“Clouds”

at times they change shapes
to avoid the illusion
of painted beings

“New Orleans”

some symmetry form
come beauteous wet and warm
feed my disaster

“Beat”

momentous solace
screaming through our privileged
- robert zimmerman-

“Architect”

Object of desire
Stair step glass trash consumption
oh Frank you Gehry

“Stylist”

Garb me in your grab
Accoutrements connotate
Relativity

“:-)”

Smile through the struggle
They will attack your exposed
Your teeth will be broke

“Artist”

Tragedy our muse
We bemuse ourselves badly
Mad laughs and tear baths

“Bedtime”

Caught in the middle
A thought lost without caution
One more cigarette

~J. Action

A. Mama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A. Mama said...

blah. i hate that blogger won't let you edit your comment, only delete. Let's try this again...

I have so many favorite poems, but I have a special spot in my heart for those by William Carlos Williams. He creates full, almost novel-worthy stories with such few (yet so rich!) words.
These 2 in particular -

"The Red Wheelbarrow"

so much depends
upon
a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

****

"This Is Just To Say"

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

tantella said...

my favorite poem is desiderata by max ehrmann. for me, it's timeless & relevant. a message of hope, perseverance and wisdom- maybe even a sort of guideline for life....

Anonymous said...

I love this poem. The line "Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools" is referenced in a Brand New song called "Sowing Season (Yeah)" which I did for my English Thesis.

sarah said...

Such a beautiful Poem. I have several poems I love. One in particular is:
Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.


One of the very first Poems I ever read. I fell in Love with poetry and writing when I realized I could express myself freely.

chantalK said...

This has nothing to do with this post (sorry), but I do want to say this.....

"YAY! Your back!"

I realise by looking at the post dates, you've been back (blogging) for a while, but guess it's been a while since I've checked. I was/am an anonymous follower of your lovely blog, and found much inspirations in your words and art and journey..... it's lovely to have you back :)

AG said...

It's rather hard to me to understand english poetry yet .)) but i really like this one.

Robert Frost

Bond and Free

Love has earth to which she clings
With hills and circling arms about—
Wall within wall to shut fear out.
But Thought has need of no such things,
For Thought has a pair of dauntless wings.


On snow and sand and turf, I see
Where Love has left a printed trace
With straining in the world’s embrace.
And such is Love and glad to be.
But Thought has shaken his ankles free.


Thought cleaves the interstellar gloom
And sits in Sirius’ disc all night,
Till day makes him retrace his flight,
With smell of burning on every plume,
Back past the sun to an earthly room.


His gains in heaven are what they are.
Yet some say Love by being thrall
And simply staying possesses all
In several beauty that Thought fares far
To find fused in another star.

trapperhoney said...

wow, someone just challenged me to read this poem last week. it's so neat i find it here!

daisygrrl said...

hey ryann! my fav, by emily dickenson:

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Anonymous said...

I know who could use this book now. :)

Red Rock Country said...

I miss reading poems like this. I think I need to get them into my reading lists again.