The Gods of the Copybook Headings

This one is about the old and sage advice. it is about empty promises and being sold hope and upliftedness. It echoes and expands upon advice given elsewhere by Kipling on the value of things, and nothing being given for free – see “MacDonough’s Song” about being lured by the loudest throat. It also, in …

Horatius

I love this poem. I’ll admit the section where McCaulay goes on about the “good old days where everyone was great” is a bit… idyllic… but this poem evoked in epic form heroism in the face of impossible odds. 

The poem also vividly, and graphically displays how brutal and unsettling warfare could be.

Due to its length, the poem itself is after the jump.

Prelude (to Departmental Ditties)

Even the introductions to his collections of poetry are works of art.  Prelude (To “The Departmental Ditties”) by Rudyard Kipling I have eaten your bread and salt. I have drunk your water and wine. The deaths ye died I have watched beside, And the lives ye led were mine. Was there aught that I did …

The Divine Image

William Blake has two poems with very similar names, covering very similar subjects (two sides of the same coin), in a very similar structure and rhyme. “The Divine Image” can be construed as the poem that sees the beauty in mankind. The Divine Image BY WILLIAM BLAKE To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love All pray …

The Road Not Taken

I first stumbled into the Robert Frost poem because it formed the basis for one of my favorite short Science Fiction stories. The story had posited “what if” faster-than-light travel was actually something most races stumbled into at roughly medieval levels of technology, and we simply never figured it out? Most cultures went a-hunting across …

Hymn of Breaking Strain

This poem is about engineering, but so much more. it speaks to all of our projects that we aspire to. After laying out how we can look up tables of the properties of materials, and design things to take the strength and properties into account, he points out a fundamental truth: People are not all …