Mon Accident!

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


There are versions handwritten by Kipling in Notebooks 1 & 3, dated 14 May1882. A later comment in Notebook 1, dated 8 October 1883, when Kipling was working in India, reads ‘Not a nice subject and inadequately treated – notably the lame fourth verse. Sorry I wrote the thing – almost.’ See Rutherford pp. 24-28 for details of the Notebooks.

The poem was never collected by Kipling, but is to be found in Rutherford p. 144, and Pinney p. 1654.

The Poem

A father meditates and mourns over his child, who has been born out of wedlock. In the title, “Mon” is French for “My”; “Accident” is the same in both languages.


©Philip Holberton 2019 All rights reserved