Out of Sight

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


There is a version handwritten by Kipling in Notebook 1, dated 13 November 1882.
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. 176, and Pinney p. 1686.

The Poem

A classical sonnet bewailing the parting of lovers, with some hope in the last line of recompense in the future. Rutherford (p. 176) comments that in this and the next poem in Notebook 1 (“As Far as the East is set from the West”) Kipling is returning to the theme of separation from the love he has left in England: these are virtually the last of his introspective love poems.

Kipling had become infatuated with Flo Garrard in 1880, as a schoolboy. She was a beautiful art student, a year older than him. The relationship seems always to have been more serious on his side; when he sailed for India he had considered that they were engaged. For earlier poems on this theme see “Where the Shoe Pinches” and “Parting (In the Hall)”.


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