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I've always had a slightly ambiguous view of Kiplings "If". It's a little too tainted by Empire and paternalist racists with handle-bar moustaches telling you what is what. I've quite strong childhood memories of watching the BBC's Monocled Mutineer and seeing "if" quite definitely on the sides of the Donkeys not the Lions. But reading it again recently I was struck by it. It is pretty powerful and I think does warn pretty well the pitfalls of life and how to deal with them. Grounded, practical, not materialistic or vain, willing to take a risk, but adjust to a loss. Sound advice? 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 impostors 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 worn-out 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 breathe 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!
Think your crap at poetry? Now's your time to shine!Bring along your very worst poems, your least goodly descriptions, most complex metaphors, and highly tenuous rhymes, to see if you've got what it takes to be crowned as the very best (worst?) NO!et by our panel of judges.Email email@example.com to book a slot to read (3 minutes max), or just come along to enjoy! There's always a chance to take part on the night in the flash poetry round. Taking place at Amber on Loch Prom on the 4th of August from 7:30pm.