“Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting with the gift of speech.”
- Simonides of Ceos

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Friday, October 16, 2015

"If—" by Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling wrote the poem “If—“ in 1895, but it was not published until 15 years later. The piece is consistently listed among the best poems ever written by British poets and sections of it have been quoted or referenced in popular culture numerous times over the decades.

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Program Credits

Announcer: Thomas Lamar
Narrator: J.D. Sutter
Composer: Jared DePasquale
Sound Design & Mixing: Roy Allison
Photography: EdwinRS
Producer/Director: J.D. Sutter

Entry on Wikipedia for "If—"
Entry on Wikipedia for Rudyard Kipling
Story Behind the Poem on The Daily Mail

Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling, circa 1899
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/

"If—" by Rudyard Kipling

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.

Producer's Note: We had two composers work on the "If" production and we decided to produce two versions to showcase the work of both of them. Since this is our first offering in the Verses In Vox series we thought it would be a bonus to see how two different folks would interpret this piece musically.

This bonus version of "If" was scored by Kevin Duncan.