Reckoning

1881


(notes by Philip Holberton, drawing on the work of
Andrew Rutherford and Thomas Pinney)


the poem


[May 14th 2019]

Publication

Never collected by Kipling, but to be found in Andrew Rutherford (p. 68), and Thomas Pinney p. 1580.

There is a holograph [handwritten by Kipling] version in Notebook 3 in the University of Sussex Special Collections dated 8 August 1881. It is also included (dated 9 February 1882) in Sundry Phansies, another handwritten notebook presented by Kipling to 'Flo' Garrard, the beautiful art student with whom he had fallen in love after meeting her in the summer of 1880, aged fourteen. (See Rutherford pp. 24-28 for details of the Notebooks.)

The Poem

A classical sonnet mourning the end of a love-affair, presumably to Flo Garrard. She was two years older than him, and the affection always seems to have been stronger on his side. See the last two lines of the earlier poem "The Lesson":
We have played out the game — I, boy-lover,
In earnest, and you, dearest, how?

See also "Caret" , and "Solus cum Sola" .


[P.H.]

©Philip Holberton 2019 All rights reserved