The poetic persona draws to light various principles that constitute a victorious life. Integrity being central to the theme of this 20th century poem, self-composure and dignity are also portrayed as indispensable virtues. From adolescence to adulthood, and from perplexing situations in youthhood to reaching stability in later stages of life, each lesson in this poem is worth more than materialist pursuits, if the reader comprehends them in true essence and makes them central to one’s existence. Several notable lines appealed to me on a personal level. “If you can meet with triumph and disaster, And treat those two impostors just the same” It is interesting to note the dual meaning which the poet has conveyed with remarkable finesse. First, that triumph and disaster are as inevitable as they are ‘imposters.’ Composure and level-headedness are all we need to maintain during times of extreme satisfaction or even during times of extreme distress. The reason I chose the word ‘satisfaction’ instead of ‘joy’ or ‘happiness’ is what brings us to the second meaning of the poem. Triumph cannot be the cause of lasting happiness, the only true happiness comes from within, irrespective of eternal circumstances. Both, triumph and disaster are “imposters”, and neither should determine the state of your mind. “If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch” Being true to who you are in a world where everyone tells you who to be, and being humble in a world where several lose their heads are two irreplaceable virtues that guide you in life.

4 Comments

  1. delphini510 says:

    I also have found strength in this poem
    by Rudyard Kipling. Have even framed
    a big copy and hung it on the wall

    Miriam

    Like

  2. Isha says:

    That is lovely, Miriam! This poem certainly emanates a positive energy. Thanks for stopping by!

    Like

  3. beth says:

    wonderful choice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isha says:

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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