Tag: Rudyard Kipling

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: Do You Believe in ‘If’ Anymore?

 

One of the reasons I like the occasional music posts on Ricochet is that I’ve spent most of my life quite disconnected from whatever was going on in the contemporary entertainment world, and the posts give me a window into what I might have missed (and whether or not I’m glad I did). Although we moved to the United States only a couple of months before The Beatles took the “Ed Sullivan Show” by storm, I never owned a Beatles album. And while The Rolling Stones were hot during my years at British boarding school, we weren’t allowed to listen to them; Mick Jagger’s hips and lips being (in the opinion of the good ladies running The Abbey School) a bridge too far, even for the radio.

Prior to that, my experience ran to the blue wind-up gramophone in Nigeria and the 78, 45, and 33RPM records we’d either brought with us from England or borrowed from the Officers’ Club, and programs such as Desert Island Discs on the BBC World Service. After that, with a few notable exceptions when I would, in a transgressive mood, listen to Jeff Christie on KQV, the most youth-oriented local AM station (he later resumed his birth name and achieved some measure of fame as Rush Limbaugh), I left the music scene to others, and largely ignored it myself.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. If Only…

 

The other day, a mob of students defaced a new mural at the University of Manchester. The mural depicted the poem “If” by the racist imperialist misogynist Rudyard Kipling, so of course they painted over it with a poem by Maya Angelou.

Serena Williams finds this poem to be deeply inspirational, as this video shows (she takes a liberty with the final line, but I like it, sister):

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If you are so fat you can hardly move, Yet continue to feast on garbage; More

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Okay – it is my turn to provide today’s group writing. I had a really neat one planned, but reality grabbed me by the throat. It is the 25th and I have not even started it. So, let me use this as an escape. I used to post Rudyard Kipling’s poetry regularly until “improvements” made it […]

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So one thing I do is, I teach English. I’m teaching a boy Kipling’s Conundrum of the workshops this week. (Here are my old running notes, if you care for this sort of thing.) I wanted to play it for the boy to hear–he does not hear nearly enough of the King’s English, so to […]

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Last year, Ricochet. This year, the world. Folks, here’s my first series of essays for The imaginative conservative, the website-magazine of St. John’s college. The poet’s Philip Larkin & the poem’s Annus mirabilis. This was collected in a small volume called High windows, the title poem of which is strikingly similar, but too vulgar for polite society. […]

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When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace. They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease. But when we disarmed They sold us & delivered us bound to our foe & the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.” That’s […]

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This is one of his funny poems. It is simple-minded & undisciplined. It tells you we should not be conceited about Art, & at some length. It’s full of lofty phrases used to comic effect. Read it & enjoy it, if you enjoy this kind of bad poetry. You have eight quatrains, with the simplest […]

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This is a kind of quatrain & a kind of poem Kipling seems to have enjoyed writing. Here’s John Derbyshire reading it, which should be enough to charm you. I’m not sure he invented it, but I find it hard to believe anyone did it better. See The Conundrum of The Workshops, New lamps for […]

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You might wonder where this phrase comes from–the law of the jungle–which we take to mean, lawlessness spelled out in a fine turn of phrase. Kipling thought otherwise, in fact he makes quite a lot in a book for kids about something serious. Jungle is another name for forest. It is the world in which […]

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