Beloved for his fanciful and engrossing children’s literature, controversial for his enthusiasm for British imperialism, Rudyard Kipling remains one of the most widely read writers of Victorian and modern English literature. In addition to writing more than two dozen works of fiction, including Kim and The Jungle Book, Kipling was a prolific poet, composing verse in every classical form from the epigram to the ode. Kipling’s most distinctive gift was for ballads and narrative poems in which he drew vivid characters in universal situations, articulating profound truths in plain language. Yet he was also a subtle, affecting anatomist of the human heart, and his deep feeling for the natural world was exquisitely expressed in his verse. He was shattered by World War I, in which he lost his only son, and his work darkened in later years but never lost its extraordinary vitality. All of these aspects of Kipling’s poetry are represented in this selection, which ranges from such well-known compositions as “Mandalay” and “If” to the less-familiar, emotionally powerful, and personal epigrams he wrote in response to the war.
About the Author
Nobel prize-winning writer Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India, but returned with his parents to England at the age of five. Influenced by experiences in both India and England, Kipling's stories celebrate British imperialism and the experience of the British soldier in India. Amongst Kipling's best-known works are The Jungle Book, Just So Stories, and the poems "Mandalay" and "Gunga Din." Kipling was the first English-language writer to receive the Nobel prize for literature (1907) and was amongst the youngest to receive the award. Kipling died in 1936 and is interred in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.
Peter Washington is the author of "Madame Blavatsky's Baboon," He is the editor of several Everyman's Library Pocket Poet anthologies including "Love Poems" and" Friendship Poems,"