A treasure trove of Rudyard Kipling’s poetry discovered

With his poem “If” consistently voted the nation’s favourite and his books The Jungle Book and Just So Stories as popular as ever, the discovery of unpublished works by Rudyard Kipling has caused much excitement 70 years after his death. Some of the newly found poems, over 50 in total, were discovered during the renovations of a house in New York whilst others were found hidden amongst the family papers of a Victorian shipping magnate. “There is a treasure trove of uncollected, unpublished and unidentified work out there” says Thomas Pinney, the academic and expert on the writer who made the discovery, “It is a tremendously exciting time for scholars and for fans of Kipling”.

Some of the poems, which cover a range of subjects, will soon be published in a new Cambridge edition of all of Kipling’s verse. Highlights include Kipling raging against media intrusion into his life (“Have you any morals? / Does your genius burn? / Was your wife a what's its name? / How much did she earn?”) and tender reflections on war ("Three times wounded; three times gassed / Three times wrecked – I lost at last"). This poem is particularly poignant as Kipling’s son John was killed in the First World War after Kipling used his political influence to help him enlist.

Read more about the life and work of Rudyard Kipling.

last modified: Tue, Mar 5th 2013Bookmark and Share
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