Neither Tennyson nor (as I think) Browning) could write a good ballad, but Mr. Kipling can. ‘Fisher’s Boardinghouse’, ‘The Bolivar’, ‘The Last Suttee’ and ‘Danny Deever’, for instance are real ‘little epics’. For the full, rich, rolling verse in which he excels, perhaps the best are ’The Last Chantey’, ‘The Dirge of Dead Sisters"...Powell continues with a list that would probably cause controversy which this Editor would prefer to avoid. Interested readers can seek out the article in Green's collection. Bonamy Dobree, published in 1967, observes (p. 215.):
... It is impossible to do more than indicate the immense variety of Kipling’s verse or illustrate how often it verged upon poetry, not only in metre, diction and imagery, but also in subject-matter, in “hieroglyphic suggestion”. “The Last Suttee” might well have become a poem, and so might have some of the later satirical pieces …. One can only be astonished at the wealth of ideas, the invention in form, the apparent ease, the mastery.(In this context 'hieroglyphic' means 'having a hidden meaning'; 'symbolic', 'emblematic'.)
What fundamentally differenciates his ‘verse’ from his ‘poetry’ is the subordination of musical interest. Many of the poems give, indeed, judged by the ear, an impression of the mood, some are distinctly onomatopoeic: but there is a harmonics of poetry which is not merely beyond their range – it would interfere with the intention. It is possible to argue exceptions, but I am speaking of his work as a whole, and I maintain that without understanding the purpose which animates his verses a whole, one is not prepared to understand the exceptions ...George Orwell enters the fray in his famous essay reprinted in Kipling’s Mind and Art, edited by Andrew Rutherford (Ed.) (p. 70), concluding that Kipling is a 'good bad poet', despite also being vulgar.
...The difference which would turn Kipling’s verse into poetry does not represent a failure or deficiency: he knew perfectly well what he was doing; and from his point of view more ‘poetry’ would interfere with his purpose.
A REGULATION for declaring the practice of Suttee or of burning or burying alive the widows of Hindoos illegal, and punishable by the Criminal CourtsSuicide is contrary to various sections of the Indian Penal Code, but Mala Sen in Death by Fire p. x. reports cases of suttee in India as recently as 1987.