A bit off topic, but I have been writing a series on the poetry of Rudyard Kipling and I thought some of our Almost Chosen People readers might wish to view the results. This will be the first in an on-going series. Kipling’s poems have always been at least as popular in this country as in Great Britian, so perhaps it is not so off topic as it might appear at first glance.
I have always been a great fan of the poetry of Kipling. It is fun to recite and often has a fair amount of wisdom. Too often Kipling is simply written off as a pro-imperialist poet and relegated to the past along with the British Empire. He was certainly a loyal Brit and an advocate of the Empire, but there was much more to him than that. Refusing honor after honor, including being poet laureate of Great Britain, he always retained his independence to give loving criticism to his country. For example, in 1897 at the time of the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria, he wrote the poem Recessional which envisioned a time when Great Britain would have lost its Empire and its power:
Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet.
Lest we forget—lest we forget!
Kipling realized that power was never an end itself and that Great Britain would be judged by God and History not by how much power it amassed, but by what the British did with their power.
First up in this series which will analyze the poetry of Kipling is a fairly obscure poem but one which I think has valuable lessons for politicians. The poem was written in 1911 and is entitled Norman and Saxon: (more…)