Sunday, 25 May 2014

Magpie 221


'If''. The alternative.

If you can fill your room with junk and clutter,
And still contrive to find your (unmade) bed.
If you withstand your parents' angry mutter
And play your music extra loud, instead.
If you can hoard your dirty mugs and dishes
And grow green mould therein, and cease to mind,
Stand fast against your teachers' well-meant wishes,
And, stalwart, keep your place in class (behind).
If you can eat three plates of food at mealtimes
And still have room for cereal in between,
And leave your dirty garments where you dropped them,
So everyone can tell where you have been.
If you can leave the jobs you're meant to do, lad,
And make quite sure that they remain undone,
Yours is this room, and everything that's in it.
You've now become a teenager, my son!

Dedicated to T, B and J.( But particularly T.)


(With thanks to Tess at Magpie Tales for the picture, and apologies to Kipling)

36 comments:

  1. oh hahah You have described my sons bedrooms perfectly....they're in their 40's now and are a lot neater now!

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    1. They are when they get their own homes, Kathe!

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  2. When Middle Daughter was so delighted with the birth of their second son , I didn't have the heart to mention the eventual smelly trainers .

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    1. Quite right, Let them find out for themselves.

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  3. Ha! Sounds like teenage boys for sure!

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  4. Kipling must be turning in his grave!

    excellent, I’ve seen rooms like that too but have never heard them described so well.

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  5. Brilliant! And it's not only sons and grandsons. It's daughters too.

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    1. I only have one daughter, Lynne, and she was pretty tidy. But the boys more than made up for it.

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  6. Fabulous! As the grandfather of six teenaged grandchildren, I know just how accurate your poem is! However, Rudyard Kipling is probably turning over in his grave....

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    1. I guess Kipling must have had son(s), but probably paid someone else to clear up after them!

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  7. A sweet tale to something so true! Great magpie.

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  8. That is so so so brilliant Frances.

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  9. I've always loved If, and your version is brilliant.

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    1. Maggie, apparently If is "Britain's favourite poem".

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  10. I've always liked Kipling - tho I never really learned to Kipple. :-)

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    1. It's easy once you know how, Berowne.

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  11. This is excellent, I enjoyed it. I must be a geriatric teenager.

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    1. Thank you, Adrian. But you have the excuse of dogs.

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  12. I loved this poem ... reminds me of my brother's room :)

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  13. Hahaha! Perfectly captured!!! When my son was a teen I had a plaque hung outside his door—"DO NOT ENTER: This room is undergoing a scientific dirt experiment." Gotta lot our kids!!

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    1. Ginny, after a while, I just stopped going into them their rooms. It was too depressing.

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  14. LoL.....a perfect tribute! My youngest son is a teenager no more (20) but I guess he'll remain being one for quite some time nonetheless!

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    1. Until he finds a good woman to put him straight (in my experience) Helena.

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  15. Masterfully done and clever as can be.

    =)

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