If: erasure

If blaming it on you
make allowance for their doubting
don’t deal in lies
nor, talk too wise.

Make thoughts meet with triumph
instead of twisted by knaves
who seek nothing but disaster
you can bear it all, even
with worn out tools.

to serve your heart
and so hold on
neither foes nor loving friends
can hurt you

If you can walk with kings
with crowds, the common touch

yours is the earth and
everything that’s in it.


© Daydreamertoo       *All rights reserved

I chose to try an erasure poem with the famous ‘If’ by English author/poet Rudyard Kipling.

Shared with dVerse Poets Meeting the Bar: Erasure Poetry

Author: Daydreamer

I live on a beautiful island in Atlantic Canada.

23 thoughts on “If: erasure”

  1. How masterfully you manage to manipulate Kipling’s voice. This was an interesting read for me, Bren, because it is so different from your usual work, yet equally compelling to read.

  2. Great graphic title !

    THis is the only poem I was ever forced to memorize in school — probably part of the reason I learned to hate poetry — memorizing was hard for me.

    Many years later, while living in India, I read Kipling and loved him and later re-embraced this poem.

    Great erasure — your version still rings of Kipling’s brilliance. Thanx

  3. There is a lot of truth in this old chestnut. I like the foes and loving friends bit. Smirk. You will have to excuse me Bren..I am a terrible cynic sometimes:)Better than the original.

  4. very neat. Loved what you did with the Kipling here. You created some very cool lines here and crafted an excellent piece. Thanks

  5. Some great words to live by for sure and your voice really took a tour. Nicely weaved at your bay as plenty of thoughts are at play.

  6. I dug the original poem out to compare. I think you’ve made it more contemporary. And the central message was still there, with a more universal address. Nice job. 🙂

  7. I agree with Anna–your own voice comes through so clearly, this sounds just like your own work. (That’s a good thing!) Fine job here!

  8. You managed to keep your poetic sensibilities with another voice. I was struck by the message and its insistence, a really interesting push and pull. I think that one of the great things about this form is it can almost be like ventriloquism.

  9. Good job with this. It’s one of my earliest known poems and still a favorite. I give it as a gift to young men on my birthday/christmas lists. Like this – so modern.

  10. I like

    “you can bear it all, even
    with worn out tools ”

    That line REALLY has a strength to it which will stay with me! Worn out tools are tools nonetheless and have life in them yet! Smiles.

  11. Make thoughts meet with triumph
    instead of twisted by knaves
    who seek nothing but disaster…smiles…you gleened some nice wisdom from if…and if only…you know…smiles…

  12. nicely done. your title is apt.”you can bear it all, even with worn out tools” love this. I really feel you and Kipling merging here.

  13. great job bren…don’t deal in lies
    nor, talk too wise…some good wisdom in this…also the parts with the foes and friends…nicely done…

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