Friday, May 25, 2012

 My Boy Jack and Memorial Day Weekend

Monday, May 28th is Memorial Day here in the United States which celebrates the end of WW I, but now we honor all the fallen of all of our wars.  November 11th is Armistice Day,  which is celebrated (somehow the word celebrated is a misnomer) here as Veterans' Day and in England as Armistice Day.  Originally, November 11 was to commemorate the end of the Civil War in the United States. Other countries also have special days of commemoration. Thank you to Wikipedia for the information.


Poetry is a special love of mine and years ago when I read Rudyard Kiplings poem/lament for his son Jack who was lost in WW I, I was deeply moved. Masterpiece Theater had a dramatization of this sad part of Kipling's life, with Daniel Radcliff playing Jack.

So hard to put into words the sacrifices all our men and women make, but this poem describes the personal tragedy of any war.

                                               My Boy Jack
                                          by Rudyard Kipling

'Have you news of my boy Jack?'
     not this tide.
'When d'you think that he'll come back?'
     not with this wind blowing and this tide.

"Has anyone else had word of him?'
     Not this tide.

For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing and this tide.

'Oh dear, what comfort can I find?'
     None this tide,
     Nor any tide,
Except he did not shame his kind--
Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.

Then hold your head up all the more,
     This tide,
     And every tide;

Because his was the son you bore,
And gave to the wind blowing and that tide!

Thank you to: You Tube and The Great Modern Poets, the best Poetry of Our Times, ed Michael Schmidt.



  1. that is quite a powerful poem. wow, thanks for drawing my attention to it.

  2. Thank you for sharing this lovely gave me goosebumps. Dare I confess I have not read it before. I may have heard it, but not read it as you have it here. It is very moving indeed.

    Here, in Canada, Nov.11 is Remembrance Day, also in May we recognise International Veterans Day.

    Also...I added myself as a Follower - you have an interesting blog. :)

    1. Thank you, I'm following you as well. The words you used for the A-Z Challenge were so descriptive and how you did this for 28 days? This dramatization was so well done. Jack had horrible eyesight and was turned down for military service several times. He finally memorized the eye chart and enlisted.

  3. I have awarded you the One Lovely Blog Award, see my blog for details

  4. I have just awarded you the One Lovely Blog Award, check my Saturday blog for details.

    1. Thank you, Jo. Very flattered to have this come from you. Now to choose 15 bloggers and answer those questions :)

    2. Aloha,

      I am getting ready to post my One Lovely Blog Award, but would like to give you credit... I apologize for not already knowing, but can I ask what your first name is :)

  5. Thanks for the poem - a good reminder about what this weekend is all about - and makes me feel very thankful to live in this great country and for all the men and women who fight for us.

  6. i love his poetry--it's strange, i was watching a movie just last night with daniel starring in it---i commented how sad i thought he portrayed the character---as he does in this powerful clip of this hauntingly sad poem---thank you for sharing this

  7. CQ and Lynn: Thank you for your comments. Daniel is an excellent actor, but hard not to picture Harry Potter when you first watch Daniel in other movies.

  8. What a beautiful post and such a lovely poem. It must be strange to see Daniel Radcliffe in other films, I haven't seen many of the Harry Potter films, but even to me, that's who he is!

    I didn't know that you had memorial day today. Thank you for teaching me something :)

  9. Thank you for sharing this. My mother has shared how she felt as a child, waiting each day for the postman to hopefully bring a letter from one of her brothers in Vietnam. They came home safely, though not whole, but many others didn't.

  10. I think it's easy to forget if you did not go through what your mother did--the waiting, the letters that did not come. The brothers who perhaps did not want to talk about their experiences. But we all go on and hope for a better world. The words that Kipling chose for this poem are so powerful and speak for themselves. Today our super market had Veterans out in front who gave out poppies. Haven't seen that done for years.

  11. Here in New Zealand everything gets celebrated on April 25, ANZAC Day, I am from UK and it is still weird for me to wear poppies in April and not Nov, like England! Just popping by from the A to Z road trip.

    1. I know, it seems that the poppies should be the symbol for the November Armistice Day date. Thanks for popping by.

  12. So much personal loss in war. It's sad.

    We need your feedback!
    Blogging from A to Z

  13. very touching poem and tribute. Nice post.

  14. I'd never heard of this poem, but it totally fits the Day.

    Ps. Thanks for the comments - and the award - I really appreciate it :)

    Pps. I don't use "happy" or "celebrate" either, to me I just tell people to have "a safe, memorable Memorial Day."