Poems and healing

There was discord recently about a Rudyard Kipling poem, which was removed from display, as it was seen to represent a colonialist, mysogynistic era.

Creativity takes many forms and can have unique and personal meaning, helping people to heal and grow. 

Here are the two poems in question.  I personally, like them both for different reasons. I think they share a common theme exploring inner strengths, in the face of adversity.

Each poem has words that we can draw on during challenging times, to help guide our minds towards resilience.  I find they also have a beautiful and soothing rhythm.

See which poem speaks to you most and why?

IF—  by Rudyard Kipling.

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!


Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history 
With your bitter, twisted lies, 
You may trod me in the dirt 
But still, like dust, I rise. 

Does my sassiness upset you? 
Why are you beset with gloom? 
Cause I walk like I've got oil wells 
Pumping in my living room. 

Just like moons and suns, 
With the certainty of tides, 
Just like hopes, springing high, 
Still I'll rise. 

Did you want to see me broken? 
Bowed head and lowered eyes? 
Shoulders falling down like teardrops, 
Weakened by my soulful cries. 

You may shoot me with your words, 
You may cut me with your eyes. 
You may kill me with your fatefulness, 
But still, like air, I'll rise. 

Does my sexiness upset you? 
Does it come as a surprise 
That I dance like I've got diamonds 
At the meeting of my thighs? 

Out of the huts of history's shame 
I rise 
Up from a past that's rooted in pain 
I rise 
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, 
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. 

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear 
I rise 
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear 
I rise 
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, 
I am the dream and the hope of the slave, 
I rise...I rise...I rise. 


The Kipling society. 'If' was written by Rudyard Kipling, in 1895 and published in his collection Rewards and Fairies in 1909

Wikipedia notes - And Still I Rise is authored in Maya Angelou's third volume of poetry, published by Random House in 1978. United States of America.