Departmental Ditties Rudyard Kipling: Segregated in two neat volumes, one containing some regular poems and the other consisting of ballads, Departmental Ditties becomes a delightful read.
Kipling, one might note, had written it to be read with a simple state of mind, without any twists and turns and major metaphors lining the outskirts of the reader’s thoughts.
Table of Contents
The Contents of the book are as follows:
VOLUME I: DEPARTMENTAL DITTIES AND OTHER VERSES
Study of an Elevation, in Indian Ink
A Legend of the Foreign Office
The Story of Uriah
The Post that Fitted
The Man Who Could Write
A Code of Morals
The Last Department
VOLUME II: BALLADS AND BARRACK-ROOM BALLADS
The Ballad of East and West
The Last Suttee
The Ballad of the King’s Mercy
The Ballad of the King’s Jest
The Ballad of Boh Da Thone
The Lament of the Border Cattle Thief
The Rhyme of the Three Captains
The Ballad of the “Clampherdown”
The Ballad of the “Bolivar”
The English Flag
An Imperial Rescript
The Widow at Windsor
The Young British Soldier
Ford O’ Kabul Rive
These poems were written mainly for journals and almost all of them were individually published in various magazines before the poet compiled all these into one heavy book.
Rudyard Kipling Poems
The poems are about a variety of things. Some are about soldiers, some about officers in the Government. Some are about love while some are just humorous. Some poems are so well written that you will go back to them immediately after you have finished the last line!
Notably, most of them are set in India, with the main characters or the subject of interest in the poem being of the Indian origin. This, as any proud Indian would assume, depicts Kipling’s inclination towards the country he was born in and had spent quite some years of his life at.
Departmental Ditties Rudyard Kipling
Kipling writes about women in some of his poems. Like, in one, he writes about this really biased female who was the wife of an officer who did exactly what she would ask him to, no matter how illogical that be. He follows a rhyming scheme all throughout his poems which makes it all the funnier.
Another poem, The Legend, he writes about Raja Rustam Beg of Kolazai and how he was a particularly unbearable king because of his unamicable behavior. But the changes for a brief period to accomplish a certain position/post and thus begins bringing about all the good changes in his kingdom.
Just when his subjects began rejoicing, he realized he wouldn’t able to achieve his goal and thereafter went back to being who he was.
In one such other poem, Kipling narrates the story of a man who was asked to let go of smoking by his loving wife. She had asked him to make a choice between herself and his cigars, and in the last line of the poem, the poet discloses the final choice of the man.
( To know what this particular character chose, read the poem The Betrothed)
Rudyard Kipling’s Famous Works
This collection of poems also contains one of his most famous works, Gunga Din, which, arguably deserves a separate article for itself! This book is built on some of the finest poems of Rudyard Kipling and however humorous or lively each one may be, they will all leave you with enough food for your thinking mind!