Rudyard Kipling: Poems

who did kipiling think would read his poem?

white mans burden

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Kippling meant for this poem to be read by leaders of imperialist countries. The poem was initially composed for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee but Kipling decided to submit “Recessional” instead. Kipling, observing the events across the Atlantic in the Spanish-American War, sent this to then-governor of New York Theodore Roosevelt as a warning regarding the dangers of obtaining and sustaining an empire. Roosevelt would then forward the poem to his friend Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, commenting that it was “rather poor poetry, but good sense from the expansion point of view.”