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The Song of the Little Hunter Analysis



Author: Poetry of Rudyard Kipling Type: Poetry Views: 540

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Ere Mor the Peacock flutters, ere the Monkey People cry,

Ere Chil the Kite swoops down a furlong sheer,

Through the Jungle very softly flits a shadow and a sigh--

He is Fear, O Little Hunter, he is Fear!

Very softly down the glade runs a waiting, watching shade,

And the whisper spreads and widens far and near.

And the sweat is on thy brow, for he passes even now--

He is Fear, O Little Hunter, he is Fear!



Ere the moon has climbed the mountain, ere the rocks are ribbed with light,

When the downward-dipping trails are dank and drear,

Comes a breathing hard behind thee--snuffle-snuffle through the night--

It is Fear, O Little Hunterit is Fear,

On thy knees and draw the bow; bid the shrilling arrow go;

In the empty, mocking thicket plunge the spear!

But thy hands are loosed and weak, and the blood has left thy cheek--

It is Fear, O Little Hunter, it is Fear!



When the heat-cloud sucks the tempest, when the slivered pine-trees fall,

When the blinding, blaring rain-squalls lash and veer,

Through the war-gongs of the thunder rings a voice more loud than all--

It is Fear, O Little Hunter, it is Fear!

Now the spates are banked and deep; now the footless boulders leap--

Now the lightning shows each littlest leaf--rib clear--

But thy throat is shut and dried, and thy heart against thy side

Hammers: Fear, O Little Hunter--this is Fear!





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

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This poem by Kipling exposes fear as something that's incremental. Fear is an emotion that will creep up from behind you, as emphasized by the line, "Comes a breathing hard behind thee--snuffle-snuffle through the night--
It is Fear, O Little Hunterit is Fear."

At the beginning of the poem, a hunter is ready to engage in his sport or livelihood. However, even before the first arrow flies, fear begins to grip the hunter, subtle at first, as a mere flitting "shadow and a sigh".

By the second stanza, the hunter launches his first arrow but has gone too cold and numb to make a good hit. "The blood has left thy cheek."

By the third stanza, the fear beating in the hunter's heart is now a full-blown cacaphony, louder than "the war-gongs of the thunder". By the end of the poem, the hunter's "throat is shut and dried". He can no longer perform his task with any coherence whatsoever.

This poem captures beautifully the nature of fear, not as one that will come upon you as a sudden gust, but as one that will slowly overcome you until what you expected would be a cinch just a few minutes ago, becomes impossible to do.

| Posted on 2006-02-13 | by Approved Guest




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