February 2013 | Nate Pedersen

Fifty New Kipling Poems Discovered


The American scholar Thomas Pinney has discovered 50 lost and unpublished Kipling poems.  Pinney found the poems in a variety of locations including Kipling family papers, a Manhattan townhouse, and the archive of a former shipping magnate.  All of the poems will be published for the first time next month in the three-volume Cambridge Edition of The Poems of Rudyard Kipling.  The book, which will be released March 31st, also marks the first ever complete edition of Kipling's poetry.

The new poetry covers a variety of themes, including World War I, gambling, and the intersection of media and fame.  Some comic verse is also included from a sailing between Adelaide, Australia and Ceylon.  An amusing section relates Kipling's frustration with the length and boredom of the voyage:

The children played on the rotten deck / A monthly growing band / Of sea-bred sin born innocents / That never knew the land.

Kipling has recently enjoyed a resurgence in popular and scholarly inquiry, as evidenced by the upcoming publication of the complete edition of Kipling's verse.  Pinney, an emeritus professor of English with the University of California, believes there is still a "treasure trove" of undiscovered Kipling poetry out there.

For more selections of the new Kipling poetry, including the full-text of a poem entitled "The Press" check out an article about the discovery at the Guardian.