Was Kipling asking or answering the question of Meaning?

Was Rudyard Kipling answering or asking the question, what is the meaning of life, when he wrote his poem “If” ?

He was 31 years old when he wrote this poem intending to help his son understand life but the central idea in the poem contains a lesson about life and human nature.

Poetry can serve more than one purpose and we the reader can enjoy the poem and find our purposes in it. The patterns that have put emotions into words can evoke different emotions in those that read the words. Kipling may have only intended to have his words impact his son but the use of the word “you” makes the poem seem like it is addressed to anyone who reads it.


See the Poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling

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