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A Short Analysis of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Power of the Dog’

Kipling’s fine poem about our canine friends

‘The Power of the Dog’ by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), prolific poet, novelist, and writer of short fiction for both adults and children, extols the dog’s most famous virtue – its undying loyalty and devotion to its owner – but also warns against giving your heart to a dog for it ‘to tear’. Dogs, for Kipling, are not just man’s best friend: they are heartbreakers.

The Power of the Dog

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie Read the rest of this entry

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A Short Analysis of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If—’

A summary of a much-loved poem

Since Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If—’ was first published in Kipling’s volume of short stories and poems, Rewards and Fairies, in 1910, it has become one of Kipling’s best-known poems, and was even voted the UK’s favourite poem of all time in a poll of 1995. Why is ‘If—’ so highly regarded? And what is the curious story behind the poem? Closer analysis of the poem reveals an intriguing back-story and some surprising stylistic effects.

If—

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools: Read the rest of this entry

Five Fascinating Facts about Rudyard Kipling

Interesting Rudyard Kipling facts – about his life and work

1. Rudyard Kipling used the word ‘grinch’ over 60 years before Dr Seuss. The word ‘grinch’ was used by Rudyard Kipling in his 1892 poetry collection, Barrack-Room Ballads, in ‘The Lament of the Border Cattle Thief’: ‘It’s woe to bend the stubborn back / Above the grinching quern, / It’s woe to hear the leg bar clack / And jingle when I turn!’ Dr Seuss would take up the word for his classic 1957 children’s book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. (More Dr Seuss facts here.) Read the rest of this entry