My Boy Jack? Poem by Rudyard Kipling

My Boy Jack?

Rating: 2.9

'Have you news of my boy Jack? '
Not this tide.
'When d'you think that he'll come back? '
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.
'Has anyone else had word of him? '
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing and this tide.
'Oh, dear, what comfort can I find? '
None this tide,
Nor any tide,
Except he did not shame his kind-
Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.
Then hold your head up all the more,
This tide,
And every tide;
Because he was the son you bore,
And gave to that wind blowing and that tide!

Monday, March 29, 2010
Topic(s) of this poem: war
Michael Walker 31 July 2019

The mother asks questions about her son Jack, who is serving in a war (probably the First World War) , but she gets no definite answer, just 'Not this tide'. She asks if anyone else has heard news of Jack-'Not this tide'. Kipling's son, Jack must have been a brave man, who 'did not shame his kind'. His parents can be proud of Jack. The question-and-answer structure of the poem reminds me somewhat of 'Uphill', by Christina Rossetti.

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Clar isse 02 February 2013

Kipling wrote this after his son, Jack, went missing on a war. He was the one who pursued his son to join the war despite Jack's vision difficulties. Jack never came back.

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