Sunday, September 2, 2007

Dennis Fritz "IF" There Were No Flowers

Dennis Fritz, author of "Journey Toward Justice", read the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling to the lone juror who saved him from the death penalty.
The poem was read to Bonnie Flowers at a book signing in Ada, Oklahoma. Fritz told the audience, that if Bonnie had not had the courage to stand up for him then he was sure he would have been put to death.

Dennis Fritz read the Rudyard Kipling poem “If”, to Bonnie Flowers as it had special meaning to him. The poem was given to him early in his prison sentence by his aunt who died just eight days before he was released. In his book dedication he writes-

"To the lord for giving me the emotional strength and perseverance to endure, and to my mother, Aunt Wilma, and Elizabeth for their continued strength and support" -

Here is the Poem
"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 imposters 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 wornout 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 breath 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!

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