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50 Unpublished Rudyard Kipling Poems Discovered

27 February 2013

From Time:

Dozens of unpublished poems by Rudyard Kipling have been discovered, nearly 80 years after the author’s death.

American scholar Thomas Pinney found more than 50 works by the Nobel laureate in a number of different locations, including a Manhattan home which was being renovated, the archive of a former head of the Cunard Line and buried among Kipling’s family papers, reports the BBC.

The poet and short story writer, who was born in Mumbai, lived from 1865 to 1936. His best-known works include the Jungle Book and the poem If–.

. . . .

One poem, “The Gambler”, ends with the couplet: “Three times wounded; three times gassed / Three times wrecked – I lost at last”.

. . . .

“Kipling has long been neglected by scholars probably for political reasons,” Pinney, who is emeritus professor of English at the University of California, told the Guardian.

Link to the rest at Time

Kipling reveled in the British Empire and the military men who forged it, a certain recipe for politically-based obscurity these days. There’s no mistaking his unique style and voice, however.

An excerpt from Mandalay:

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ eastward to the sea,
There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
“Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!”

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11 Comments to “50 Unpublished Rudyard Kipling Poems Discovered”

  1. This is fantastic news. Kipling was one of the greatest poets of his day. It’s a shame the way he’s been treated by academia.

  2. Some of the best work on Kipling’s writing has come from India. He does not have quite the negative cachet on the Subcontinent that he does in the west.

  3. Ooh, can I quote one of my favourites?


    It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
    To call upon a neighbour and to say:-
    “We invaded you last night – we are quite prepared to fight,
    Unless you pay us cash to go away.”

    And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
    And the people who ask it explain
    That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
    And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

    It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation,
    To puff and look important and to say:-
    “Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
    We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”

    And that is called paying the Dane-geld,
    But we’ve proved it again and again,
    That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
    You never get rid of the Dane.

    It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
    For fear they should succumb and go astray;
    So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
    You will find it better policy to say:-

    “We never pay anyone Dane-geld
    No matter how trifling the cost;
    For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
    And the nation that plays it is lost!”

    • One of my favorites, too, Lexi.

    • I like that one, and Hymn to Breaking Strain… (Though the version I’ve memorized was one that was set to music by filkers.)

      “And we, by which sure token
      We know we once were gods,
      Take shame in being broken,
      However great the odds.”

  4. P.G.

    As if the drivel Rudyard Kipling already droned on the world weren’t bad enough already…


    Shields up.)


  5. Appropriate, as it seems that the Gods of the Copybook Headings are preparing to ride out on one of their periodic returns.

  6. I had read the criticisms of Mandalay, but when I read it a few years ago I was struck by how it mirrored my own feelings about the far-east even after 40 years.


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