Category Archives: Kipling (Rudyard)

Poems for Resisting Trump

New York columnist Roger Cohen suggests two poems for resisting Trumpism: “if” and “Harlem.”

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The Soldier Knew Someone Had Blundered

Donald Trump is refusing to take responsibility for the failed Yemen raid where a Navy Seal was killed, along with 30 civilians. The raid brings to mind the “Charge of the Light Brigade,” although more appropriate might be the Rudyard Kipling sequel, where the poet blasted England for failing to take care of the survivors.

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Stillness, One of the Doors of the Temple

The Biblical story where Jesus visits the home of Mary and Martha can be read as an injunction to eschew busyness and focus on God. This Mary Oliver poem captures the spirit of such a lesson.

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Kipling Perfectly Describes Brexiteers

A “Guardian” article applies Rudyard Kipling’s poem “Dead Statesman” to those irresponsible politicians who brought about Brexit. The poem applies equally well to Donald Trump.

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The Sewanee Gentleman & Related Poems

As the son of a professor at the University of the South, I grew up hearing about “the Sewanee gentleman.” A recent exhibit on the Sewanee gentleman includes poems by Robert Browning and Rudyard Kipling, which were used to reenforce the concept.

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How Kipling’s Kaa Would Fight ISIS

ISIS resembles the Monkey People in Kipling’s “Jungle Book” in the way it craves attention. It is defeated by Kaa, but the authoritarian python brings his own set of problems, a fascist reaction to anarchy.

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Puck’s Summer Magic

“Midsummer Night’s Dream” dips into ancient British legends about the mystical aspects of midsummer.

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Kobe: The Lone Wolf Going Down

Kobe is both like and unlike Akela, the Lone Wolf in “The Jungle Books.”

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Peterson and Literary Child Thrashings

Adrian Peterson’s mistreatment of his four-year-old son has echoes of the caning described by Rudyard Kipling.

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A Kipling Response to the V.A. Scandal

Kipling predicted the V.A. scandal in his 1892 poem “Tommy.”

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Mowgli, a Tea Party Libertarian?

Although Kipling’s “Jungle Books” sometimes read like a rightwing fantasy, there’s a progressive element as well.

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Mowgli Upsets Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals losing to San Diego is like Shere Khan losing to Mowgli.

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A Reminder Not to Forget War’s Ravages

Kipling’s “Recessional” curiously isn’t the imperialistic war poem that would have expected at Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee.

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Beagles, a Wellspring of Poetry

Two dogs we were keeping recently ran off, triggering a flood of anxiety and poetry.

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Did Martha Deserve Her Scolding?

A wonderful U. A. Fanthorpe poem tells Mary-Martha story from Mary’s point of view.

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Out There the World Is Cruel and Loud

The Prodigal Son is a fruitful story for artist projection.

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Respect Soldiers, Keep Them Safe

In a number of his poems, Kipling honors the common soldier by giving us his perspective.

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Elated? Depressed? This Lit’s for You

Lit to caution election night winners and bolster election night losers.

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Prez Keeps Head While Others Lose Theirs

Obama, taking a cue from Kipling and maybe Edward Rowland Sill, bounced back in Tuesday’s debate.

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Calling on Beowulf in the Middle East

Middle Eastern leaders could learn from Beowulf–and so could Mitt Romney–as they deal with anti-American riots.

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Don’t Underestimate Midsummer Madness

The summer solstice and Shakespeare’s famous play appear sentimental to us today. They were not always so.

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Once We Memorized Poetry

Memorizing poetry used to be standard classroom practice and poetry was widely popular before the snobs came in.

Also posted in Coleridge (Samuel Taylor), Keats (John), Kilmer (Joyce), Riley (James Whitcomb), Shelley (Percy), Tennyson (Alfred Lord), Wordsworth (William) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Poetry Often Prefers Losers

Young McIlroy, bidding to become the youngest golfer to win the Master’s since, yes, Tiger, found himself cast in the role of Icarus. Flying close to the bright sun of fame, the wax in his wings melted and he plummeted to earth in a debacle that scorched the eyes to watch.

Also posted in Blake (William), Marlowe (Christopher), Shakespeare (William) | Comments closed

Peyton Manning as Moby Dick?!

Sports Saturday In anticipation of football’s “Wild Card Weekend,” which begins today, I see that a sports writer has invoked Herman Melville’s masterpiece. Dan Graziano believes that Indianapolis Colt quarterback Peyton Manning has become Rex Ryan’s Moby Dick. He has beaten the New York Jets coach so many times that Ryan has become obsessed with […]

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What Fictional Fantasy Means

Having taught British Fantasy Literature for the first time last semester, I need to think back on it before it becomes a distant memory.    By reflecting publicly, I can share some of the insights I gained from the course. Two major things I learned are that (1) fantasy is an oppositional genre—by which I […]

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The Magic World of Children’s Lit

William Kristof, the much traveled Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the New York Times, wrote recently about the disturbing way that children’s IQ scores often drop over summer vacation. The cause is lack of intellectual stimulation. The problem is more severe with poor than it is with middle class kids. As an antidote, Kristof offered […]

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Applying Kipling’s “If” to Wimbledon

An exhilarating and exhausting week at Wimbledon has come to an end with an exhilarating and exhausting match between Swiss player Roger Federer and American Andy Roddick. Roddick was once my favorite player and Federer is my current favorite so I felt torn as I watched the longest match in grand slam history. It came […]

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