Kipling is seen by some as a stuffy Victorian imperialist devoid of the finer sensibilities. In fact, as Brian Harris contends in this new anthology, his poetry deals with the timeless themes of pain and suffering, forgiveness and redemption, love and hate.
Concerned with ‘the mere uncounted folk/Of whose life and death is none/Report or lamentation’, he berated officialdom for averting its eyes from the poor and hungry peasantry of India and dragged the dirt and squalor of the battlefield into England’s elegant parlours. Familiarity, the author argues, has dulled the effect of Kipling’s most well known pieces, while other, equally fine, poems have been neglected.
What is lacking, he suggests, is not another selection of Kipling’s ‘best’ poems, but one which demonstrates the extraordinary width and depth of the poet’s talents and the light which they throw on their great but enigmatic author. Harris concedes that this is a risky strategy which has not been tried before, but believes it is one that, if judged correctly, could introduce many new readers to the full splendour of the poet’s verse.
The anthology is rounded off with a brief life of Kipling, an account of the extraordinary ups and downs of his reputation and a critical analysis of his verse.
# # #
About the Author
Brian Harris a retired lawyer whose previous books have been mostly concerned with forensic matters. He says 'It was during a long hot Summer childhood that I chanced upon Rudyard Kipling’s short stories on the bookshelves of a family friend’s house in the country, and immersed myself in them with joy. It was not until much later that I discovered his poetry and began to wonder why so little of it was well known.' You can visit Brian's blog at http://theancientlawyer.blogspot.co.uk/
See Also: Rudyard Kipling's Writing Habits