The Unforgiving Minute

As this weekend marks the Christmas holiday, there stands a slim chance I will find the time and focus to post anything; therefore, this week, the post is a few days early.

The previous post addressed the product of words and melody into music and the consequences of music upon the human condition. In many ways, this week serves as a reinforcement of the conclusions made. Many of you may have read or heard of Rudyard Kipling, as he is most famously known for his publication of the Jungle Book. A prolific writer, Kipling published numerous short stories throughout his lifetime.

However, my favorite piece of his is not a short story, but a poem.In 1910, Kipling wrote a poem simply labeled “If.”  The poem addresses the art of living–capturing and employing every moment. Or, as Kipling writes, “fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run.”

While reading the poem alone is enough to evoke the emotions Kipling poured into this short poem, I stumbled across a video constructed by George Horne which combined the words of Kipling with narration of Des Lynman and further accented by the music of Pavane by Gabriel Fauré. The result is a moving three-minute film that brings to life the words of this 100-year-old poem.

More than many others, this poem touches the human condition. Every person can connect with at least one line or one verse. These four verses contain lessons all of humanity could and should learn, and, by doing, we would gain “the Earth and everything that’s in it.”

Text from “If” by Rudyard Kipling:

Biography on Rudyard Kipling:


4 thoughts on “The Unforgiving Minute

  1. Bivantate says:

    Very Compelling and thought evoking. Thank you for taking the time to share this, I had never heard of the poem and was surprised at how it motivates one to seek a more humble approach.


  2. I like this post, enjoyed this one appreciate it for putting up.

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