Kipling was a prolific poet over an unusually long period. The most complete editions of his verse include seven or eight hundred items, and he published verse over a longer period than Hardy and over nearly as long a period as Yeats. When his first slim volume, Schoolboy Lyrics, appeared, Tennyson and Browning were still writing and Hardy and Yeats were unheard of as poets; and although his output dwindled in his later years, his last poems belong to the thirties — the age, that is, of Eliot and Auden (in the year in which Kipling dies, Auden’s Look, Stranger!, Eliot’s Collected Poems 1909–35, and Dylan Thomas’s Twenty-Five Poems all appeared). His verse, then, cannot be regarded merely as a minor appendage of his major achievement in prose, but demands serious consideration both in its own right and in its relationship to the prose — the more so since, in his later years, Kipling came to integrate stories and poems much more closely, with the result that the meaning of a story cannot always be properly determined without taking into account the poem or poems that accompany it.
KeywordsDust Steam Defend Toll Verse
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