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
Rudyard Kipling was born Joseph Rudyard Kipling in Bombay, India in 1865. At the age of five, he was sent to England to be educated. He later returned to India, where he worked as a journalist and writer before traveling the world. He subsequently made his home in England, India, the United States, and South Africa. Kipling wrote The Jungle Books while living with his wife and young children in the United States near Brattleboro, Vermont. By the time The Jungle Books were published in 1894 and 1895, Kipling had become one of the most famous writers in England. In 1907, he became the first English-language writer to receive the Nobel Prize in literature. He died in England in 1936.
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,"