Tag Archives: poetry

Rudyard Kipling: ‘IF’

Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards.

To celebrate the 30th poetry competition, politicians were asked for their favourite poems.        I think our Prime Minister’s choice is quite an interesting and fitting one:                                                                    The Hon Tony Abbott MP
Prime Minister

Favourite poem: “If” by Rudyard Kipling, “Kipling’s poem is dated in some ways and a bit antiquated in others but it has inspired generations of boys including the teenaged Tony Abbott”.


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!


I wonder if you have a favourite poem?

Poetry alive and well:

In Melbourne this week poets have been getting up early to take their poetry to the people. At the end of each railway line, they’ve taken helium balloons and released them in the carriages for people to find. Within each balloon is a poem about that particular line. Ours is the Frankston line, so I guess they would have written about Frankston. No, I didn’t get up early to scramble to get one.

Instead I went to the Internet, but couldn’t find anything about this exciting idea.

Chris heard that it is something that happens in London UK. What a splendid idea, I do hope it spreads to other places! Have any of you first hand experience of this happening? I’d love to hear if you have, and to read the poem.

A taste of: ‘The Stony Thursday Book’, A collection of Contemporary Irish Poetry


Groundhog Week   If you could relive the past week, would you?                                               Would you change anything?

(Thank you kah1982, for suggesting this prompt) Ben Huberman


The answer to each question is ‘NO’. Planning the next week is quite sufficient. Procrastination is the thing I most want to avoid. It is so easy to get caught up in books and not write myself.

Recently an Irish friend, Catriona O’Connor, sent me a book of poems. I’d like to share two of those poems with you. We met in our youth, when we were living in Urbino, Italy in 1970. Catriona is an artist who not only painted but also organized an exhibition of her work in Urbino that year. I admired her tenacity then, as I do now.

Catriona illustrated the cover of ‘The Stony Thursday Book, A Collection of Contemporary Poetry’. I was delighted to receive it. ‘The Stony Thursday Book’, published by The Arts Office of Limerick City and County Council, (Autumn 2014).

Ice-Cold Christmas

Granny, in her fireside chair

sips form her delicate glass,Scan 1

Granddad attempts to free

his nicotined airways,

interrupting the chorus

of Oh Holy Night, on the radio.

You sit, white-knuckled,

on the sofa’s edge.

Snugly sheltered in your womb,

I feel your broken heartbeats.

Together we absorb

the icy silence of rejection.

Eileen F. Connolly


As it is winter here, I’d like to share the following:

Winter Sun

 When grey days split and rain slaps against the glass

will I remember the Isla, where under a brochure-blue

sky, our bodies packed in last year’s togs, we dismiss

the press of new flesh, ease sagging bellies,

marbled thighs, onto canvas loungers, guiltlessly.


Thirsty as stranded crabs we gulp down the sun

in long draughts while the sea vacillates

between turquoise and magenta, the waves

trundle out, and the tide’s scalloped petticoat

sweeps the shoreline like an old queen’s ball- gown.

Marian O’Rourke


Rudyard Kipling: ‘His Apologies’ 1932

For anyone suffering the loss of a dog; especially ooohitsalyx who wrote on her blog about losing her dear dog. This poem is unapologetically emotive. It’s good to cry!

His Apologies kipling

Master, this is Thy servant. He is rising eight weeks old.

He is mainly Head and Tummy. His legs are uncontrolled.

But Thou hast forgiven his ugliness, and settled him on Thy knee…

Art Thou content with Thy Servant? He is very comfy with Thee.


Masteer, behold a sinner! He hath committed a wrong.

He hath defiled Thy Premises through being kept in too long.

Wherefore his nose has been rubbed in the dirt, and his self -respect has been bruised.

Master, pardon Thy sinner, and see he is properly loosed.


Master-again Thy Sinner! This that was once Thy Shoe,

He has found and taken and carried aside, as fitting matter to chew.

Now there is neither blacking not tongue, and the Housemaid has us in tow.

Master, remember Thy Servant is young, and tell her to let him go!


Master, extol Thy servant, he has met a most Worthy Foe!

There has been fighting all over the shop – and into the Shop also!

Till cruel umbrellas parted the strife (or I might have been chok-ing him yet).

But Thy Servant has had the Time of his Life – and now shall we call on the vet?


Master, behold Thy Servant! Strange children came to play.

And because they fought to caress him, Thy Servant wentedst away.

But now that the Little Beasts have gone, he has returned to see

(Brushed -with his Sunday collar on) what they left over from tea.


Master, pity Thy Servant! He is deaf and three parts blind.

He cannot catch Thy Commandments. He cannot read Thy Mind.

Oh, leave him not to his loneliness; nor make him that kitten’s scorn.

He hath had none other God than Thee since the year that he was born.


Lord, look down on Thy Servant! Bad things have come to pass.

There is no heat in the midday sun, nor health in the wayside grass.

His bones are full of an old disease – his torments run and increase.

Lord, make haste with Thy Lightnings and grant him a quick release!