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Boots Analysis

Author: Poetry of Rudyard Kipling Type: Poetry Views: 1202

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We're foot--slog--slog--slog--sloggin' over Africa --
Foot--foot--foot--foot--sloggin' over Africa --
(Boots--boots--boots--boots--movin' up an' down again!)
There's no discharge in the war!

Seven--six--eleven--five--nine-an'-twenty mile to-day --
Four--eleven--seventeen--thirty-two the day before --
(Boots--boots--boots--boots--movin' up an' down again!)
There's no discharge in the war!

Don't--don't--don't--don't--look at what's in front of you.
(Boots--boots--boots--boots--movin' up an' down again);
Men--men--men--men--men go mad with watchin' em,
An' there's no discharge in the war!

Try--try--try--try--to think o' something different --
Oh--my--God--keep--me from goin' lunatic!
(Boots--boots--boots--boots--movin' up an' down again!)
There's no discharge in the war!

Count--count--count--count--the bullets in the bandoliers.
If--your--eyes--drop--they will get atop o' you!
(Boots--boots--boots--boots--movin' up an' down again) --
There's no discharge in the war!

We--can--stick--out--'unger, thirst, an' weariness,
But--not--not--not--not the chronic sight of 'em --
Boot--boots--boots--boots--movin' up an' down again,
An' there's no discharge in the war!

'Taint--so--bad--by--day because o' company,
But night--brings--long--strings--o' forty thousand million
Boots--boots--boots--boots--movin' up an' down again.
There's no discharge in the war!

I--'ave--marched--six--weeks in 'Ell an' certify
It--is--not--fire--devils, dark, or anything,
But boots--boots--boots--boots--movin' up an' down again,
An' there's no discharge in the war!


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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Same training. heres a link to the audio. I remember it slightly differently, but the maniacal tone of the reader is what sticks in my mind. I\'m pretty sure this is the x

| Posted on 2012-06-03 | by a guest

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same training, we were laughing because it sounded like gene wilder.

| Posted on 2010-10-02 | by a guest

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cool im very cool rudyard kiping was beaten so he wirtes his hardships .

| Posted on 2010-05-12 | by a guest

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wow. someone(s) never learned the meaning of confidential. tsk tsk

| Posted on 2009-10-12 | by a guest

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I did the same training and can't get it out of my head! would love to have the audio along with the rest of the crap that was played.

| Posted on 2008-10-29 | by a guest

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Good luck finding the audio. I have searched for it as well. Same training. LOL

| Posted on 2008-08-19 | by a guest

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Does anyone have an audio track of this. I went through some military training a while back, in which we were subjected to prison-camp conditions. They played this poem, over and over again, for about 16 hours. The poem is read so perfectly, it reaches this crescendo of emotion and terror at the end. I'd really like to get my hands on it. If so can you email me... mattycole1@gmail dot com

| Posted on 2007-10-20 | by a guest

.: My take :.

The poem is about the endless marching done in Africa. The soldier would march for weeks with no one to fight, but because the war was still on, the couldn't take leave ("There's no discharge from the war".) The endless marching with nothing to do but stare at the boots in front of you is maddening. As he says in the poem, hunger, thirst, weariness can all be coped with, but the endless marching with no known destination or battle to be fought is worse than all of them, including being shot at. Somewhere there is audio of Kipling himself reading this poem. In his short preface, he talks about how few people can understand the stresses on an infantrymen during a long forced march.

| Posted on 2007-05-02 | by a guest

.: Meaning :.

Marching, marching, marching, marching, how long do you think you can.
Nights, days, dark, light, it doesn't matter when it is
The time to think of what you've done
Will kill you in the end again
so dont look at the man in front of you
Close your eyes and kill at will but dont let the boots get a hold on you.
Soldiers sometimes dont want the time to reflect on the things they have done and while marching that is exactly the one thing they have. You count your bullets and bombs when fightin and try to stay alive, but when you are marching, all you have is time to think of the next fight and battle and it can drive you crazy. In the light hours you feel safe with the numbers you see around you but at night that number multiplies by thousands becasue you just dont know exactly what is around you: especially when day after day you are marching past thirst and hunger just to go and give your life again. this poem is about the uncertain end to the acts that soldiers must commit during wartime operations and the movements they must endure to accomplish the acts they dont neccessarily want to commit and the time that marching gives them to reflect on what they have done.

| Posted on 2005-04-15 | by Approved Guest

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