Chris Eubank’s Recital of Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If’

Chris Eubank is a British retired boxer who held world titles at middleweight and super middleweight. He was a world champion for over five years, undefeated in his first ten years as a professional, and remained undefeated at middleweight.

During an Interview on BBC Sports about his son Chris Eubank Jr, he performed an impromptu recital of Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If’.

If” is a poem by British Nobel Laureate Rudyard Kipling written in 1895 and first published in Rewards and Fairies, 1910. It is a tribute to Leander Starr Jameson and is written in the form of paternal advice to the poet’s son. Joseph Rudyard Kipling was a short-story writer, poet, and novelist. He wrote tales and poems of British soldiers in India and stories for children. If, is inspirational and motivational, providing a set of rules for life and personal behaviour and development. In a 1995 BBC opinion poll, “If—” was voted the United Kingdom’s favourite poem.

Check on it!

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!

Source: A Choice of Kipling’s Verse (1943)

16 Comments

  1. Lenie
    January 2, 2016 / 4:41 pm

    This is a wonderful poem – quite a bit different from the ‘what if’ that many people struggle with.

  2. Jacqueline Gum
    January 2, 2016 / 4:41 pm

    Completely in LOVE with this!

  3. Patricia Weber
    January 2, 2016 / 4:43 pm

    I love this video to hear Chris Eubank’s reciting Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If’. It’s been years and years since I read it. It speaks volumes about this athlete’s character. Thanks!

  4. Beth Niebur
    January 2, 2016 / 4:43 pm

    I don’t think I’ve heard the poem recited before. I can’t imagine it being done more effectively than Chris Eubank did it. Not exactly what I’d expect from a boxer but beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

  5. Erica
    January 2, 2016 / 4:45 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I really tried to let think sink in, as I think we all need to hear this once in a while. A very wonderful poem.

  6. Phoenicia
    January 2, 2016 / 4:45 pm

    What a great poem.
    Thank you for sharing.

  7. Ramona Mckean
    January 2, 2016 / 4:46 pm

    So much wisdom here. Thank you for the inspiration.

  8. alice
    January 2, 2016 / 4:47 pm

    Shared on Twitter, beautiful.

  9. Pamela Chollet
    January 2, 2016 / 4:49 pm

    I’m in awe!. I’ve read snippets of it but reading the entire poem is an inspirational experience.

  10. ken dowell
    January 2, 2016 / 4:50 pm

    Great poem. Had never read/heard it before. Love the line "if you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run."

  11. Christine Larsen
    January 2, 2016 / 4:51 pm

    So lovely to read the whole poem once again ChinWe – thank you.
    My particular favourites are the first two lines and the last two… probably the best known as well.
    "You’ll be a Man, my son" – scalp and spine-tingling – every time I hear them.

  12. Andleeb
    January 2, 2016 / 4:54 pm

    This poem by KIPLING is simply amazing.
    I was wondering about Chris Eubank. I first time heard about him. Isn’t it amazing to stay undefeated in such a way?? But how much effort or struggle it needs, we can not imagine.
    His message to his son is also amazing.

  13. kire Sdyor
    January 2, 2016 / 5:06 pm

    I’m going to keep this on loop at my desk all day today. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Donna Janke
    January 2, 2016 / 5:07 pm

    I’ve read this poem before but a long time ago and had forgotten about it. Great words. Thanks for sharing.

  15. william Rusho
    January 2, 2016 / 5:08 pm

    I am glad he used this poem; it may be one of the most honest poems that deal with a father’s wishes for his son. The poem expresses, the love, expectations, fear and hope that a father has for his child.

  16. Tyrone Bustillos
    January 2, 2016 / 5:09 pm

    Excellent blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any recommendations? Thanks a lot!

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