December 30, 2004

"I Don't Know - I've Never Kipled."


Today is the 139th anniversary of the birth of Rudyard Kipling, a poet of whom I am quite fond. Here is a nice Kipling Society link where you can go and wallow in all things RK.

Working in Dee Cee and being actively involved in political debates, I am very often reminded of one of my favorite of his poems, The Gods of the Copybook Headings. Money, er, stanzas:

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return.

UPDATE: Speak of the devils, the Colossus has a post up on the idea of forming a kind of U.N. version of FEMA to deal with global disasters like the tsunami.

I'm with the Big Guy on this. Thanks, but no thanks.

Posted by Robert at December 30, 2004 02:49 PM

Robert, we love Kipling here. Just So Stories is in my repertoire of reading for my children when they are quite young. We occasionally quote from some of our favorites, such as "The Elephant's Trunk" and "How the Leopard Got It's Spots."

Rikki Tikki Tavi is also one of their favorite short stories. The girls found Captains Courageous a bit boring in the beginning. I think I shall reintroduce it in honor of his birthday. Perhaps we shall read it together. A little animatation can make even the most boring books seem lively.

Along the lines of a British author spending their formative years in India, Frances Hodgson Burnett is another of our family favorites.

Posted by: Rae at December 31, 2004 01:10 PM

Could you imagine if he were alive today they would have had him calling it THE RAINFORST BOOK i mean just how weird these PC idiots are they would have hounded kipling all the time and by the way kipling even wrote a short horror story MARK OF THE BEAST try look it up somewhere

Posted by: lonesome loon at January 1, 2005 09:34 AM

I love Kipling. He's a damn fine story teller and we share the same birthday. That proves he's great!

Posted by: Liz at January 1, 2005 08:50 PM

Some in THE JUNGLE BOOK KAA would remind you of a liberal politician you just dont want to look them in the face and well just like in disneys version some times we begin to feel like the vultures we feel as if someone dont want us around

Posted by: mad heron at January 4, 2005 03:47 PM
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