Sunday, February 06, 2005

on Kipling's poetry again

Poetry is the most difficult thing to understand in a foreign language. I am no big fan of it altogether but the following verses create such a vivid picture in my mind:

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' lazy at the sea,
There's a Burma girl a-sittin', and I know she thinks o' me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"

It makes me think of Saigon, and the Quiet American (the movie that is). But I am fully aware that the sentiment here is so anachronistic. The world Kipling described is long gone, if it ever existed. To me it's just pure aestetics, a faint feeling so masterfully captured.

As it turned out, I'm not the only one - suprise, surprise :-) - who enjoyed the verse. A guy went there to check the real pagoda and here's his story.


Post a Comment

<< Home