Artist Rebecca Hymes

This is a good example of a Description Essay.

So how can the words of Rudyard Kipling, a nineteenth-century poet, inspire modern self-marketers, entrepreneurs, and designers? Plenty, if the words are still relevant and create a champion mindset. Kipling’s poem, “If,” does just that.

First, though, consider how rare it is that any poetry is used as a modern motivational tool. Of course, contemporary poets live and write, and the United States still recognizes a living “poet laureate.” But culturally, modern populations see poetry as an esoteric art form. Modern poetry isn’t well-read outside of academia.

So it seems strange that consultant Geoff Ficke, when interviewing potential clients for his consumer product marketing firm, gifts them with a framed copy of  Kipling’s poem, “If.”  Ficke says of the lyrical verses of this poem that they provide a wonderful map to follow for writers, marketers and entrepreneurs as they struggle to get published, market themselves, or have their ideas developed. “If,” inspirational in its simplicity, conveys a message of determination, perseverance, and courage.

As a bit of background, Rudyard Kipling and his body of work were the epitome of the British Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was born in the Raj, British-governed India in 1865. After a modest education in England, he returned to India and began a life of travel, adventure, social commentary and writing. Working as a journalist, poet, short story writer and novelist, Kipling penned some of the most influential works of the time. Classics that still enjoy popularity in contemporary culture are “Gunga Din,”  The Jungle Book, and Captain Courageous.  He published “If” in 1896.

“If” is a British parable extolling the courage, stoicism and “stiff upper lip” that even today we associate with English virtue. And over the decades the poem has inspired audiences from diverse fields. For instance, Wimbledon, the most famous tennis venue in the world,  displays a sign at the player’s entrance to center court that reads, “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same.” Words demanding the give-it-all-you’ve-got attitude.  Don’t allow discouragement into the game.  Now shift gears and apply those words to business.  Today’s marketers, product designers, entrepreneurs, inventors, and all those determined to make their  marks in any field, “If” bristles with motivation, practicality, and encouragement.

“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.”

Successful people must be risk takers. They know that success is not guaranteed, so they must be willing to fail as they pursue their goals. But they are willing to plunge ahead, and when they meet failure, they start again, and continue their drive to overcome life’s challenges.

It’s as “If” Kipling is speaking to us as individuals, assuring us of bumps along the way, but “If” we keep our wits, have courage, and follow our passion, we can find our personal path to the mountaintop. “If” is a poetic tutorial and effective motivational tool for everyone to include in their positive-thought locker. Keep a copy handy and refer to it often.


This article suggests a way to motivate your marketing of yourself.  For student writers, it is an example of a Description Essay.

Source: Geoff Ficke has been a serial entrepreneur for almost 50 years. As a small boy, earning his spending money doing odd jobs in the neighborhood, he learned the value of selling himself, offering service and value for money.

Miss McCulla is a retired English teacher of 32 years.  She has Mastery of the grammar and mechanics of English and has taught expository writing, fiction writing, and rhetorical skills to hundreds of students and aspiring writers.  As a freelance writer herself, she has written/edited/self-published five books, and currently manages a writing blog called The Underground Tutor.  Here she gathers years of “teacher tips” and “general interest examples” and passes them on to interested writers.  Presented here is an example of Description Essay, one form of expository writing.

March 15, 2019   111   mary    Descriptive Essay, Marketing And Publishing  
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