Few poets are more beloved by more people than Rudyard Kipling. A favorite of readers both young and old, known the world over, Rudyard Kipling’s poems – and stories – have proven both popular and evergreen.
Born Joseph Rudyard Kipling in 1865, Kipling was the son of Britons born in Bombay, India. At the age of five, young Kipling was sent to England to be educated, a traumatic experience that marked his childhood. Uncomfortable in England, Kipling returned to India as soon as he was able, at the age of 17. Kipling’s first – and only job – was as a writer, beginning as a journalist and editor for a magazine for Britons living in India.
In 1886, Kipling’s first collection of poetry, Departmental Ditties and Other Verses was published. Only two years later, he published his first book of prose, Plain Tales from the Hills.
In the early 1890s, Kipling gained worldwide fame with the publication of Barrack-Room Ballad, in which were two of his most famous poems, the exotic “Gunga Din” and “Mandalay.” These poems brought the experience of Britons in India to the world at large, and only encouraged Kipling to continue to write poems and stories about India, tales and verses of adventure that brought a country unknown to most to readers worldwide.
Kipling married in 1892 and left his beloved India for Vermont, where he continued his fascination with India by writing the two Jungle Books and Kim. For several years he traveled the world, both with his family and alone, spending the Boer War in South Africa, continuing to publish both prose and poetry, including the novel Captains Courageous and Just-So Stories.
In 1901, Kipling and his family settled in Sussex, England, permanently. While in Sussex, Kipling wrote many poems and stories, among them his best-known poem, “If.”
Rudyard Kipling died on January 18, 1936. At the time of his death, he was one of the most famous and beloved authors of his time. From the whimsy and humor of Just-So Stories to the adventure of “Gunga-Din” to the stately advice of “If,” Rudyard Kipling’s writing has proven to be timeless, and still fascinates and delights children and adults alike.
Poems By Rudyard Kipling: