Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Lost Rudyard Kipling poems found

Thomas Pinney, an American professor of English at the University of California, has discovered more that 50 unpublished poems by the much loved writer and poet Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936). The 50 unpublished poems are being included alongside more than 1,300 of Kipling's poems in the three-volume 'The Cambridge Edition of The Poems of Rudyard Kipling'. This is the first ever complete edition of his verse and it will be available from 7 March.

The collection of newly discovered material includes poems dating and relating to WW1. Kipling originally supported the war, so much so that he encouraged his son John to join up, which he did, enlisting in the Irish Guards. John died at the Battle of Loos in 1915 and in the lines of the poem 'My Boy Jack', a parent's heart felt sadness at the loss of his son is evident. Following on from his son's death, Kipling views about WW1 changed and can be seen in the poem 'Epitaphs of the War', "If any question why we died / Tell them, because our fathers lied".

Ref: AWNS-19231129-38-4, Kipling (on the right) became Rector of St Andrew's University, Scotland, 1923, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Kipling is well known for his fictional short stories such as 'The Jungle Book', 'Just So Stories' and 'Kim' and his verse such as 'Mandalay' and 'If'. In spite of the popularity of his works and winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Kipling has not been a popular topic of research for scholars because of the political overtones of his association with British Imperialistic. Perhaps this may change with the release of this new release of material.

Find out about the Kipling Society and check out Auckland Libraries' heritage resources by Kipling on the main library catalogue and the Kipling Society scrapbook of articles and poem by or about Kipling (NZMS 1084), which you can search for through Manuscripts Online (enter the term Rudyard Kipling into the search box).

Ref: AWNS-19241211-48-3, Rudyard Kipling's daughter weds, Sir George Grey Special Collections

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