A Parallel

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


Published in the Englishman, a leading Calcutta newspaper, 20 May 1886. It is unsigned, but authenticated by its inclusion in Kipling’s Scrapbook 3 of his own press cuttings in the Kipling Papers at the University of Sussex Special Collections.  Pinney notes that the space in the scrapboook, where presumably the clipping was once pasted, is now blank, but RK has written at the top of the blank space ‘Englishman, May 20th.’ Rutherford notes that this was the only poem to appear in the Englishman on that date.

It is not otherwise collected by Kipling, but is to be found in Rutherford (p. 319) and Pinney (p. 1806).

The Poem

The first verse observes a marriage where the very loving wife seems to be loathed by her husband, to the distress of the poet. But the remaining verses draw a parallel with the poet’s own conduct towards his fox terrier, whom he loved for three days; but then, tired of her devotion and winning ways, he came to hate her.


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