(notes by John Radcliffe)

The Author

Guy Wedmore Carryl (1873-1904), born a New Yorker, was a  playwright, humorous poet, and journalist, who wrote for the New York Times, Mymsey Magazine, and Harper’s. His books include Mother Goose for Grown-Ups (1900), and  Grimm Tales Made Gay (1902).

He died at 31 as a result of a fire at his home.





The poem

Harry Ricketts, commenting in KJ305 on various parodies of Kipling, writes:

Only Guy Wetmore Carryl’s “A Ballad” packs much of a punch. After convincingly mimick-ing Kipling’s cockney (and cocky) manner, his knowingness, his rollicking rhythms and internal rhymes, “A Ballad” ends in supposed despair at the threat that Kipling’s enormous productivity and range pose to other contemporary poets – a final swing which is more wry compliment than knock-out blow … Carryl’s is the first parody of Kipling which holds its own with its original.