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On a Poet’s Birthday – If by Rudyard Kipling

My New Year’s Resolution for 2021 was to read more poetry. A whole year of poet’s birthdays later I have certainly fulfilled that resolution. This final poem in the series is one of the most popular and best known English poems, If by Rudyard Kipling whose birthday is on December 30th.

We’ve also just turned our best quizzes into a book that you can keep! Take our quizzes home, or purchase it as a gift for a friend.


  • Question of

    If you can keep your — when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

    • head
    • mind
  • Question of

    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make — for their doubting too;

    • allowance
    • room
  • Question of

    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don’t — in lies,

    • deal
    • trust
  • Question of

    Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor — too wise;

    • talk
    • think
  • Question of

    If you can dream—and not make dreams your —; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

    • master
    • reason
  • Question of

    If you can meet with triumph and disaster And — those two impostors just the same;

    • treat
    • greet
  • Question of

    If you can bear to hear the — you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

    • truth
    • words
  • Question of

    Or watch the — you gave your life to broken, And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

    • things
    • dreams
  • Question of

    If you can make one — of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

    • heap
    • pile
  • Question of

    And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never — a word about your loss;

    • breathe
    • say
  • Question of

    If you can force your — and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone,

    • heart
    • mind
  • Question of

    And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the — which says to them: “Hold on”;

    • Will
    • Force
  • Question of

    If you can talk with — and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;

    • crowds
    • men
  • Question of

    If neither foes nor — friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much;

    • loving
    • caring
  • Question of

    If you can fill the — minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run—

    • unforgiving
    • unrelenting
  • Question of

    Yours is the — and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

    • Earth
    • World

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