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George Papavgeris The Widow's Uniform (uploaded) (30) RE: The Widow's Uniform (uploaded) 04 Sep 13


The Widow's Uniform - Part 11 of 15:

Soldier, Soldier

Any who doubt that Kipling sometimes wrote songs in themselves, rather than poems capable of musical setting, should study this piece: a ballad in the musical as well as the literary sense. Poignantly antiphonal, it has none of the realism which so characterises the Barrack Room Ballads series as a whole, and has a chorus that makes sense only in a song.

The picture Kipling draws of the soldier who cannot bring himself to break the news to a comrade's wife that she is in fact a comrade's widow is one of his most moving – but only one image in a kaleidoscope of possibilities invoked by this intriguing song.


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