Saturday, September 09, 2006


'If' by Rudyard Kipling was written in 1895 and 100 years later, was voted Britain's best loved poem in a BBC poll. It emphasises the unfashionable virtues of fortitude, stoicism and quiet determination so I've reproduced it here:

If you can face your Head when all about you,
Are staring at their feet to avoid your eye
If you can trust yourself when all of SMT doubt you,
And instead believe in Chesney’s obvious lie
If you can go along with the sad illusion;
That Wayne’s three day exclusion will be enough
To turn around five years of bad behaviour,
And lately getting Shazney up the duff.

If you can hear- and yet pay no attention
To the sound of Tamsin’s mother on the phone.
Complaining loudly at her daughters detention,
Just move the phone away so she can drone
If you can face a ninety minute lesson,
In the company of Nathan, Brett and Wayne;
If you can read yet take in not one morsel
Of the idiotic scribblings by Dwayne

If you can make one heap of Ashley’s Final Warnings,
When he says he really doesn’t give a toss
And find that nothing can be done about him,
As you have an ineffective boss.
If you can smile- whilst screaming deep within;
At the sight of Drama cover on the board
And the Supply teacher has left your room unlocked,
To be invaded by the screaming horde

If you can stifle yawns of boredom,
As England’s dullest man takes Training Day
If you can deal with stress and see its unimportance;
And you would rather battle on than stay away
If you can watch the good kids working,
Ignoring Leon with his finger in his ear
If you can snatch away his IPod,
Then face his imbecilic father without fear

If neither Coyne nor Ashley, nor Billie-Jo,
Can raise your pulse or blood pressure one jot
If you can grin on seeing that your timetable,
Contains classes you would wish that it did not
Meetings that drag with every passing minute;
As you fight the urge to leap to your feet and run
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s innit,
And-which is more- you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)


Anonymous said...

Love it!
That's going up on our staffroom wall Monday for sure.

Pepperpot said...

Absolutely superb!

Anonymous said...

7/10 Mr Chalk. Nice idea and looks good on the page. Doesn't read as well as the original though as the number of syllables doesn't follow Kiplings
10 pattern

Anonymous said...

Fan bloody tastic.

Ellee said...

I thought you might be interested in this post, I'm sure it would go down well in the UK:

Mister Teacher said...

Nice poem, but my favorite is still "Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too" by Shel Silverstein...


Ranting Teacher said...

I think you should send this to the Teacher Training Agency or whatever they are now called so they can use it in their next ads, instead of the misrepresentations I see on the TV all the time!

domino said...


I love it!