If – A Poem by Rudyard Kipling

‘If’ is a didactic poem by Rudyard Kipling which describes the traits of the perfect man. The poem employs the use of paradox to suggest how the perfect man should follow the middle path.

If by Rudyard Kipling: Summary and Review

Model Questions from ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling

  1. Complete the following dialogue using appropriate forms of the verbs given in brackets.

    Leena: Sherin, can’t you stop playing on your violin. You’re making too much noise.

    Sherin: If I (a) ………………… (not practise), I won’t pass my exam.

    Leena: Look at your watch. It’s half past ten. If you (b) ……………………… (play) it in the day time, I would not hear you. If you had told me about your course of study, I (c) ……………………….. . (not/let) you stay here (3)

  2. Read the following lines from the poem ‘IF’ by Rudyard Kipling, where he reminds the reader about the need to socialize with the common people.

    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;

    Explain the message of these lines, in a paragraph. (4)

  3. Read the following lines from the poem ‘If’ and answer the questions that follow.

    ‘If you can dream- and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think- and not make thoughts your aim,…’

    • What does ‘dream’ mean here?
      (a) desire (b) longing (c) goal (d) ambition
    • How can ‘thoughts’ influence a man’s success? (2)
  4. Read Dr. Kalam’s words:

    “Dream, dream, dream
    Dreams transform into thoughts,
    Thoughts result in action”

    • Now make a comparison between the views of Dr. Kalam and Kipling about ‘dreams’ and ‘thoughts’. (4)
    • Why do the first and the second stanzas of the poem ‘If’ end with colons? (2)

Plus One English Notes & Previous Question Papers of All Chapters