Sunday, April 07, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1910


 Rudyard Kipling published the poem “If” in the "Brother Square Toes" chapter of Rewards and Fairies, Kipling's 1910 collection of short stories and poems. It is considered “Britain’s favorite poem.”

It begins:

"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:"

(Find the poem in its entirety here.)

Contemporary Connections
One of the few apps on poetry for young people features an extensive collection of British poetry. Look for iF Poems (Clickworks Ltd., 2011), which allows you to read, listen to, record and share your favorite poems from a collection of more than 200 classic (largely British) poems narrated by actors Helena Bonham Carter, Bill Nighy, and Tom Hiddleston and searchable by author, theme, first line or categories such as “if you are facing grief” or “if you need courage.” The poems are designated for three age groups: 0-6, 7-12 and 13 and over and the app also includes extra resources, such as a dictionary of poetic terms and mini-biographies of all of the poets.

Listen to Bill Nighy reading Kipling’s poem, “If,” in an audio sampling on the app website here.

Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2013. All rights reserved.

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Janet Wong said...

I have that app and I enjoyed it but wished that there were some contemporary poems--it's been a long time since I played with it, so maybe there are a few contemporary poems, but I don't remember any.

Sylvia Vardell said...

Hi, Janet-- No, this app really focuses on "classic" poems in the public domain-- and on British poems, in particular. But I love the idea of apps for poetry and have one of my own I have been kicking around! Another project...