The Playmate

(notes edited by John McGivering)


First published in Limits and Renewals, where it precedes “Aunt Ellen.” Collected in the Sussex Edition volume 11 page 115 and volume 34 page 407, Inclusive Verse, Definitive Verse and The Works of Rudyard Kipling (Wordsworth Poetry Library).

Some critical comments

Dr Tompkins looks at this generally in her Chapter 2, “Laughter” (page 49). See also the headnote to “Aunt Ellen”.

Andrew Lycett
(page 541) sees the verses as: Better than the tale itself’, which, he says, is based on a real incident in Paris.

C A Bodelsen

in Chapter 1 “The Revelation of Mirth” explains how the narrator suddenly finds himself in a universe governed by an internal logic other than that of his normal world:

… the cosmic powers have discarded their severe mask, and their innermost essence is shown, at least, for the moment, to be comic. [page 9, passim].

Notes on the Text

[Verse 5]

Norns the Fates, dispensers of Destiny in Norse mythology.


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