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Thread: Just For Snowflakes

  1. #1
    Forum Master MPS16's Avatar
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    Default Just For Snowflakes

    If—

    By Rudyard Kipling





    (‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)





    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)


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  2. #2

    Default Re: Just For Snowflakes

    Well quoted!

    Nobody could call me an English Nationalist, by any stretch of the imagination! In case you have never caught on, I am Welsh and can get quite fiery, even at my age!

    I taught English to the English for something like 35 years (I've been a missionary here!) and Kipling has been one of my favourites since I could first read that language.

    The dispute about whether or not Kipling was "racist" (whatever that may mean) or not has raged largely since WWII, and is a total misunderstanding of symbolism. His publishers used a swastika on the jackets of his books. I can remember being a little puzzled as a child - I was brought up during WWII. A simple piece of research in the Public Library, aged about 9, revealed that the symbol is a Sun symbol...very old indeed and found frequently in the East. Later at 19, in Dublin for the first time, I was to see it on shops....very simple really - they were the shops where you paid your electricity or coal/peat bills - hence the sun symbol. Kipling was writing long before we had ever heard of Hitler, whose party usurped the sign.

    I must add that there are variants, usually of the three-branched sort. The closest to home is the Manx symbol - also a symbol of the sun.

    When I was working in the retail camera industry, I insisted that we put up a St George's flag for his day The manager was worried -"But people will think we are espousing the BNP!" was his reply. I became quite heated - "You are English and it has been your symbol since the 13th century. For goodness' sake show it! It is your flag and does not belong to any political party! Do not give in to these idiots!" We always showed it after that on the day and rarely had any complaint. When we did - we simply explained, patiently.

    Racism? Pure ignorance, as there is only one race and that is the human race! If somebody shows intolerance to another, because of his ethnicity, or colour or religion...or any other "reason" - then he is a bigot. It is simply another form of cowardice and bullying and totally intolerable. However, once you speak of somebody being of a different "race" you are giving ammunition to these bigots. Please think about the semantics involved.

    I apologise for having preached a sermon, but I do feel very strongly about this subject.

    If you have any sneaking suspicion that Kipling might have been such a bigot, do read again his poem "Gunga Din"
    I'll give you a link and a quote from part of the last verse:

    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Depar...lads/Gunga_Din

    "Though I've belted you and flayed you,
    By the living Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!"

    Kipling was no bigot.

    Dr Maya Angelou is also a great writer, and had much to complain about....how dare they use her work in such a betrayal of a great man. I despair at times!
    Last edited by cambrensis; 19th July 2018 at 10:24 PM.

  3. #3
    Forum Master olivia8143's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just For Snowflakes

    I wonder why the poem is "just for snowflakes" Name:  puzzled.jpg
Views: 76
Size:  6.0 KB

  4. #4
    Last edited by cambrensis; 20th July 2018 at 12:05 AM.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Forum Master olivia8143's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just For Snowflakes

    Name:  snowflakes.jpg
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Just For Snowflakes

    Quote Originally Posted by olivia8143 View Post
    Name:  snowflakes.jpg
Views: 40
Size:  39.4 KB
    Indeed so, although I had not come across Cleese on this. A good definition, indeed; the term is obviously disparaging, which is why I used the term "bigot" for those whom Cleese terms "sociopaths" and remonstrated with those who demonstrated by pointing out that they had mistaken a friend for an enemy;their outrage was vented against Kipling rather than that particular poem.

    On a lighter note, there used to be a mock quotation of the opening of "if" in quite common use:

    "If you can keep your head, while all around you are losing theirs -
    you probably have misunderstood the enormity of the problem!"

    Thanks for the John Cleese quotation - great stuff!

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