Gunga Din and Other Favorite Poems / Edition 1by Rudyard Kipling
Pub. Date: 07/01/1990
Publisher: Dover Publications
In such poems as "Gunga Din", Rudyard Kipling evoked stirring images and created archtypes of British character at the height of the Empire. Filled with character study, dramatic incident and rousing language, the poems delineate the time, place and ethos of British ascendancy as surely as a novel or history of the period, yet they possess a timelessness and universality that lifts them above the purely temporal.
Table of Contents
A Legend of the Foreign Office
The Story of Uriah
From Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads (1892 ff.)
The Ballad of East and West
The Ballad of the King's Mercy
The Ballad of the 'Bolivar'
The Conundrum of the Workshops
In the Neolithic Age
The English Flag
The Widow at Windsor
L'Envoi (The Long Trail)
From The Seven Seas (1896)
Sestina of the Tramp-Royal
When 'Omer smote 'is bloomin' lyre'
The Sergeant's Weddin'
L'Envoi ('When Earth's last picture is painted')
From The Five Nations (1903)
The Sea and the Hills
The White Man's Burden
From Songs from Books (1912 ff.)
Cities and Thrones and Powers (from Puck of Pook's Hill, 1906)
Tarrant Moss (from Plain Tales from the Hills, 1888)
A Song to Mithras (from Puck of Pook's Hill)
Hadramauti (from Plain Tales from the Hills)
The Law of the Jungle (from The Second Jungle Book, 1895)
Blue Roses (from The Light That Failed, 1890)
Mother o' Mine (from The Light That Failed)
From Miscellaneous Sources
The Vampire (1897)
The Absent-Minded Beggar (1899)
The Female of Species (1911)
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Quite unfortunately, Kipling has faded in literary popularity, in part, because he was, supposedly, the 'poet of imperialism.' There is some truth to this but, far more importantly, Kipling was arguably the greatest of all writers of the English Language. His poetry is simply superb. At one level, it is direct, masuculine and blunt. At another level, it is subtle and insightful, indeed. 'So 'ere's to you Fuzzy Wuzzy at your 'ome in the Sudan You're a poor benighted 'eathen but a first-class fightin' man.' Or, the poem that prevented Kipling from being appointed Poet-Laureate of Great Britain [Queen Victoria was NOT pleased]. 'So 'ere's to you, Widow at Windsor For 'alf of creation you own and we've won her the same with the sword and the flame and salted it down with our bones. Poor boys. It's blue with our bones.' Lines like this are the work of genius and have never been surpassed...and...in terms of Kipling's being a bone-headed colonialist, well, his detractors clearly never actually read Kipling. 'Din, Din, Din You Lazarusian Leather Gunga Din Though I've beat you Though I've flayed you You're a better man than I am Gunga Din.' Kipling was a man both humane and intelligent enough to understand and 'feel' the ambiguities of colonialism and empire.