Poetry

To Kipling

Strange you are remembered mostly, if at all, for half-a-dozen verses long grown stale, Like “Recessional” and “If—”. Copy-book maxims our grand-parents cared for, or a half-remembered tale of “Kim”, on telemovie classics, starring Errol Flynn, When an hour’s reading of an anthology would show a thousand scenes: the rout at Maiwand, Pepys’s life, ship’s stamping engines, or the slow Grind of men’s duty done with little thanks, Or sailors begging God on Judgment Day To let them keep the sea. Though some of it repels It still remains impossible to say That this was a small vision. “Great verse,”…

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