'The Song of the Women' by Rudyard Kipling
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How shall she know the worship we would do her?
The walls are high, and she is very far.
How shall the woman's message reach unto her
Above the tumult of the packed bazaar?
Free wind of March, against the lattice blowing,
Bear thou our thanks, lest she depart unknowing.
Go forth across the fields we may not roam in,
Go forth beyond the trees that rim the city,
To whatsoe'er fair place she hath her home in,
Who dowered us with walth of love and pity.
Out of our shadow pass, and seek her singing --
"I have no gifts but Love alone for bringing."
Say that we be a feeble folk who greet her,
But old in grief, and very wise in tears;
Say that we, being desolate, entreat her
That she forget us not in after years;
For we have seen the light, and it were grievous
To dim that dawning if our lady leave us.
By life that ebbed with none to stanch the failing
By Love's sad harvest garnered in the spring,
When Love in ignorance wept unavailing
O'er young buds dead before their blossoming;
By all the grey owl watched, the pale moon viewed,
In past grim years, declare our gratitude!
By hands uplifted to the Gods that heard not,
By fits that found no favor in their sight,
By faces bent above the babe that stirred not,
By nameless horrors of the stifling night;
By ills foredone, by peace her toils discover,
Bid Earth be good beneath and Heaven above her!
If she have sent her servants in our pain
If she have fought with Death and dulled his sword;
If she have given back our sick again.
And to the breast the wakling lips restored,
Is it a little thing that she has wrought?
Then Life and Death and Motherhood be nought.
Go forth, O wind, our message on thy wings,
And they shall hear thee pass and bid thee speed,
In reed-roofed hut, or white-walled home of kings,
Who have been helpen by ther in their need.
All spring shall give thee fragrance, and the wheat
Shall be a tasselled floorcloth to thy feet.
Haste, for our hearts are with thee, take no rest!
Loud-voiced ambassador, from sea to sea
Proclaim the blessing, mainfold, confessed.
Of those in darkness by her hand set free.
Then very softly to her presence move,
And whisper: "Lady, lo, they know and love!"
Editor 1 Interpretation
The Song of the Women: A Poem Worth Celebrating
When it comes to poetry, Rudyard Kipling is a name that needs no introduction. The British writer and poet is known for his iconic works such as "The Jungle Book" and "Gunga Din," but it's his lesser-known poem, "The Song of the Women," that deserves our attention. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we'll explore the poem's themes, structure, and historical significance to understand why it's a piece of art worth celebrating.
A Brief Overview of the Poem
"The Song of the Women" was first published in 1887 as part of Kipling's collection of poems, "Departmental Ditties and Other Verses." The poem tells the story of a group of women who are left behind when their men go to war. Despite the danger and uncertainty that loom over them, the women maintain a sense of strength and resilience. They sing a song of hope, expressing their willingness to endure anything for the sake of their loved ones.
The Themes of the Poem
At its core, "The Song of the Women" is a poem about war and its effects on those left behind. Kipling portrays the women as stoic and brave, highlighting their ability to endure even in the face of extreme adversity. The poem also touches on themes of sacrifice, duty, and loyalty. The women are willing to endure anything for the sake of their men, even if it means putting their own lives at risk.
The Structure of the Poem
"The Song of the Women" is written in ballad form, with a consistent ABAB rhyme scheme. The poem is divided into six stanzas, each containing four lines. The first and third lines of each stanza are written in iambic tetrameter, while the second and fourth lines are written in iambic trimeter. This creates a musical, sing-song quality to the poem, which emphasizes the women's song and their ability to find hope and strength in the face of tragedy.
The Historical Context of the Poem
"The Song of the Women" was written during a time of great upheaval in British history. The late 19th century saw the rise of the British Empire, as well as a number of military conflicts, including the Second Afghan War and the Boer War. These conflicts led to the deployment of thousands of British soldiers, leaving behind families and loved ones who were forced to endure the uncertainty and anxiety that comes with having a loved one at war. Kipling's poem captures the spirit of these women, who were left behind but refused to give up hope.
Interpretation of the Poem
"The Song of the Women" is a powerful poem that showcases Kipling's ability to capture the emotions of his audience. The poem's themes of sacrifice and duty resonate with readers even today, as we continue to grapple with the effects of war and conflict on families and communities. Kipling's portrayal of the women as strong and resilient is especially significant, as it challenges traditional gender roles and highlights the important role that women play in times of war.
The poem's ballad form is also significant, as it emphasizes the importance of the women's song. The poem's sing-song quality creates a sense of unity and solidarity among the women, as they come together to sing in the face of hardship. The poem's rhyme scheme also creates a sense of continuity and stability, which stands in sharp contrast to the uncertainty and danger that the women face.
In conclusion, "The Song of the Women" is a poem that deserves to be celebrated. Its themes of sacrifice, duty, and resilience are as relevant today as they were when the poem was first published over a century ago. Kipling's portrayal of the women as strong and brave challenges traditional gender roles and highlights the important role that women play in times of war. The poem's ballad form and musical quality create a sense of unity and solidarity among the women, making it a powerful piece of art that continues to resonate with readers today.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
The Song of the Women: A Poetic Masterpiece by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling, the renowned English poet, novelist, and short-story writer, is known for his exceptional works that reflect his love for India and its people. One of his most celebrated poems, "The Song of the Women," is a masterpiece that captures the essence of Indian culture and the strength of its women.
Written in 1899, "The Song of the Women" is a tribute to the women of India who have been the backbone of their families and society for centuries. The poem is a celebration of their resilience, courage, and unwavering spirit, which have helped them overcome the challenges of life.
The poem begins with a powerful opening line, "We have sung the songs of our people in the days of their pride," which sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The women in the poem are proud of their heritage and their role in preserving it. They have sung the songs of their ancestors, passed down from generation to generation, and have kept their traditions alive.
The second stanza of the poem talks about the struggles of the women in India. It describes how they have faced poverty, famine, and war, yet they have never given up. They have always found a way to survive and thrive, even in the most challenging circumstances.
The third stanza of the poem is a tribute to the women's strength and resilience. It describes how they have faced the trials of life with courage and determination. They have been the pillars of their families, supporting their husbands and children through thick and thin.
The fourth stanza of the poem talks about the women's role in society. It describes how they have been the caretakers of their communities, nurturing the young and the old, and providing comfort and solace to those in need. They have been the healers, the teachers, and the leaders of their people.
The fifth stanza of the poem is a call to action. It urges the women of India to rise up and claim their rightful place in society. It asks them to break free from the chains of tradition and embrace their power and potential. It encourages them to be bold, to be fearless, and to be the change they want to see in the world.
The final stanza of the poem is a message of hope. It describes how the women of India will rise up and claim their place in history. They will be remembered for their strength, their courage, and their unwavering spirit. They will be the ones who have made a difference in the world.
"The Song of the Women" is a timeless poem that speaks to the heart of every woman. It is a tribute to their strength, their resilience, and their unwavering spirit. It is a celebration of their role in society and a call to action for them to claim their rightful place in the world.
The poem is also a reflection of Kipling's love for India and its people. He was fascinated by the country's rich culture and the strength of its people, especially its women. He saw in them a resilience and a determination that he admired and respected.
In conclusion, "The Song of the Women" is a poetic masterpiece that captures the essence of Indian culture and the strength of its women. It is a tribute to their resilience, their courage, and their unwavering spirit. It is a call to action for them to claim their rightful place in society and a message of hope for a better future. Rudyard Kipling's poem is a timeless work of art that will continue to inspire and empower generations of women to come.
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