Published in Limits and Renewals (1932) where it precedess “Fairy Kist”.
Some critical comments
Andrew Lycett (page 527) comments:
If further evidence were required that Rudyard was alluding to himself and his own recovery from a near psychotic state, it came in the poem “The Mother’s Son” which accompanied “Fairy-Kist” when it was published in book form.
Marghanita Laski observes (page 169):
It could be that Kipling came to understand that there were worse ends than dying in that (1914) war. It might be worse to live.
She calls it (page 58) a sinister late story.
Notes on the text
They do not let you sleep upstairs to prevent the patient committing suicide by jumping out of the window.
not allowed to shave for the same reason – the cut-throat razor was in use at the time – see “The Woman in His Life”, page 69 line 15, earlier in this volume.
The Cup an echo of Matthew 26,42: ‘ Jesus prays before he is betrayed and crucified – ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except before I drink it, thy will be done’. See “Epitaphs of the War” and “Hymn of Breaking Strain” for verse in similar vein.
© John McGivering 2016 All rights reserved