Study Guide

If Tough-o-Meter

By Rudyard Kipling


(2) Sea Level

If you can bear to be teased for 30 lines, then this poem shouldn't be too bad. What do mean teased? Oh, just the fact that the speaker says "if" about a million times but then waits until the very end of the poem to tell us what will happen if his listener does all the things he counsels. Sometimes, having to wait that long can be, well, tough. Still, the words in this poem aren't super-gnarly or anything, and other than a few strange references to things like "pitch-and-toss," things run rather smoothly.