Reclaiming Kipling

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bob Holman, poet and proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club, comments on how Rod Blagojevich has taken to quoting Rudyard Kipling. Question of the Day: What work would you quote if you were embroiled in scandal? Comment below!


Bob Holman

Comments [8]

margaret from morristown

the poem was for his son.

these other left out lines are more fitting for the governor :

"If you can fill the unforgiving minute
with 60 seconds worth of distance run
Yours is the world and everythin that's in it
And what is more you'll be a man, my son"
(recalled from 7th grade -- when everything was so easy to memorize.)
Kipling fairly railroaded his son into the army & combat in the trenches where the son was killed.

Dec. 25 2008 03:14 AM
Kerry Fried from New York

Does Bob Holman view poetry through anything but an ideological prism? His comparison of Kipling to Rumsfield merited more than collegial laughing agreement

Dec. 24 2008 12:19 PM
Lisa from Manhattan

Holman's simplistic interpretation doesn't begin to reach Kipling's complexity and thinking. Try Puck of Pook's Hill, and really reading The Jungle Book and thinking about the characters. And there's a;ways his poem "The Press..." Kipling knew the people and places and ideas (democracy was a major one) he was writing about; Holman and others who have these limited views of him don't.

Dec. 24 2008 12:07 PM
Nick Bacon from Upper West Side

As a Brit, I'm interested that you should feature such a gung ho propagandist for the British Empire.

His son was killed in World War One. The TV movie of how that came about - "My Boy Jack" should be seen by every politician who sends other people's kids off to war.

Dec. 24 2008 11:57 AM
Freddy Jenkins

My favorite is just 2 words from Samuel Beckett's, Malone Dies:

"What tedium."

Dec. 24 2008 11:55 AM
Aaron from Brooklyn

I seem to have heard Holman attribute "The Charge of the Light Brigade" to Kipling.

Hmmm... Anyone for Tennyson?

Dec. 24 2008 11:51 AM
NC from NYC

I find it interesting that Blago quoted poetry. Maybe it's inspired by Obama's inspired use of rhetoric (relative to other inarticulate politicians like Bush or Palin).

Dec. 24 2008 11:49 AM
O from Forest Hills

Throw them off with romantic poetry from Romeo and Juliet:

"When thy eyes touched mine
for the very first time
I knew it would be forever
That we were meant to stay together
And I had to keep my faith"

Dec. 24 2008 11:41 AM

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