The Muse Among the Motors

Wednesday, January 30, AD 2013

Rudyard Kipling and car

The eighteenth in my ongoing series examining the poetry of Rudyard Kipling. The other posts in the series may be read here, here , here , here, here , here, here, here, here, here, here, here , here, here, here , here and here.  Kipling had a very distinctive style, a style which has produced endless poems imitating him.  It occasionally amused Kipling to do a poem in the style of some other poet.  Between 1904 and 1929 he did a series of short poems in the style of various poets.  The subject of the poems was the new horseless carriage.  Kipling loved cars, although it is unclear whether he ever drove one himself.  Here are a few of the poems in his series The Muse Among the Motors.  I will leave to the readers in the comboxes to guess the poet being copied.  We will start out with an easy one:

The Justice’s Tale

With them there rode a lustie Engineere

Wel skilled to handel everich waie her geere,

Hee was soe wise ne man colde showe him naught

And out of Paris was hys learnynge brought.

Frontlings mid brazen wheeles and wandes he sat,

And on hys heade he bare an leathern hat.

Hee was soe certaine of his governance, That, by the

Road, he tooke everie chaunce.

For simple people and for lordlings eke

Hee wolde not bate a del but onlie squeeke

Behinde their backes on an horne hie

Until they crope into a piggestie.

He was more wood than bull in china-shoppe,

And yet for cowes and dogges wolde hee stop,

Not our of Marcie but for Preudence-sake–

Than hys dependaunce ever was hys brake.

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3 Responses to The Muse Among the Motors

  • Thank you for bringing Kipling to mind again. It has been a long time since I have read any of his poems. I have a kindred spirit with all poets. It has been over thirty years and 500 poems since I discovered a gift for poetry, and at 85 I still average at least two a month. What a blessing that has been for me all these years. The first 200 I considered it a hobby only for my own enjoyment. My wife was my greatest fan, and now that she is gone, my oldest daughter has been distributing them to her friends. I am happy others now say they appreciate them very much. My computer is the lifeline for a crippled retired writer. Despite almost constant pain, I try to be the youngest 85-year old in existence. A friend once called me “The oldest living technical writer in captivity. So many people do not understand what a blessing suffering can be if you use it wisely to earn the eternal gratitude of souls in purgatory. Never waste graces.

  • I’m new here, but mind if I play?

    Chaucer, obviously; Lovelace, possibly; Byron, I’m sure; Milton, it sounds like; and the last one puts me in mind of Swinburne.

    A magnificent and moving series. I thank you, Sir, for all eighteen, and hope there may be more to come.

  • Thank you for your kind comments Tom. Correct as to Chaucer, Byron and Milton.