The Sons of Martha

The Sons of Martha  is one of many poems by Kipling that celebrates engineers, and what they do to keep things running. It’s loosely based on an interpretation of the following gospel story: As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home …

La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad

This is one of the few poems I love that I first ran across in High School english. The title means “The beautiful lady without mercy.” It’s worth noting that the depiction of faerie folk in older literature often depicts them as human-sized, and ethereally beautiful. Things rarely end well for those who are convinced …

MacDonough’s Song

Many who were exposed to Kipling almost exclusively through his more popular poems (such as “If”) or the Jungle Book, would be surprised to know he had also written what would be considered science fiction and horror.  Two of his stories, “As easy as A.B.C” and “With the Night Mail” were set in a future …

Jabberwocky

Lewis Carroll, aka Charles Dodgson, was a mathematician and logician who delighted in wordplay. Jabberwocky – another of my lifetime favorites that I’ve long ago committed to memory – is made up largely of nonsense words that, looked at with a metaphorical squint, almost make sense.  (from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872) Twas …