THE KIPLING SOCIETY
Registered Charity No.278885
Hon Secretary: Michael Kipling
Bay Tree House, Doomsday Garden, Horsham, W. Sussex, RH13 6LB
Echoes of ‘The Long Trail’: The John McGivering Poetry Prize
The Kipling Society is hosting a competition for poems inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s writings, on the theme of travel. The judge is Harry Ricketts, poet, critic, anthologist and biographer of Kipling.
Kipling was a magical phrase maker, who has contributed more expressions to our language than anyone since Shakespeare. He wrote in many voices, which remain a pleasure to read aloud, as the Kipling Society has found in our world-wide Zoom members’ readings during the pandemic, with readers from Britain, Europe, America, India, and New Zealand. The bard of the ‘Seven Seas’, whose finest poems voice the desire for ‘the long trail – the trail that is always new’ was all his life in love with global travel: ‘What should they know of England who only England know?’ He wrote of the delights of Australia, where ‘Through the great South Otway gums sings the great South Main’ (‘The Flowers’), of the dangerous ‘Rio run’, skirting icebergs that groan and shift, ‘Whaur, grindin’ like the Mills o’ God, goes by the big South Drift’ (‘McAndrew’s Hymn’) – and of course his beloved North India:
Parrots very busy in the trellised paper-vine,
And a high sun over Asia shouting “Rise and shine!” (“Jobson’s Amen”)
In this prize competition, enabled by the generosity of the late John McGivering, whose love and knowledge of Kipling have enriched our online New Reader’s Guide, we ask poets to draw inspiration from Kipling, not necessarily in imitation, but with something of his colour and rhythm and his fascination with people and places, as we travel this great and wonderful world.