Why is the 1903 poem Boots" a 'popular vehicle for elocutionists'?
Boots
Poem lyrics of Boots by Rudyard Kipling.
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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Why is the 1903 poem Boots" a 'popular vehicle for elocutionists'? Boots Poem lyrics of Boots by Rudyard Kipling. 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!

You can't get out of the US military any more. They know they won't be able to get enough volunteers to sign up for Bush's catastrophe.

john
Why is the 1903 poem Boots" a 'popular vehicle for elocutionists'?

You put that in the present tense, as if we are all familiar with elocutionists and their preferences. Are there any "teachers of elocution" these days?
Anyway, I see that the meter of this poem forces the reader to slow down and emphasize the words, so that might be a desirable feature. I notice that the final line "There's no discharge in the war" does not fit that meter, and maybe that prevents the whole poem from being too much of a steady sing-song.
Boots 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 ... 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!

(snip more of the same)

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Why is the 1903 poem Boots" a 'popular vehicle for ... up an' down again!) There's no discharge in the war!

You can't get out of the US military any more. They know they won't be able to get enough volunteers to sign up for Bush's catastrophe.

I'm rare among my liberal confrères in liking Kipling, and I hold elocution in contempt. Unless you can show I'm wrong, I'd say that the piece in question is probably no longer one of the elocutionists' favourites; but until maybe 1950 Kipling was the only poet whose work was much known among lowbrow folk that was his mission (and we are now the poorer for our poets' having retreated from the challenge). The poem was popular for a generation or two. It's dramatic, and highly rhythmic, so it makes a good performasnce piece.

I speculate that two of the sounds British elocutionists wanted to train their pupils in were 'oo' and post-vocalic 't', since these are among the ones which distinguish the social classes in Britain. In this case, it would have murdered the poem, which is meant to sound "common": Kipling was no political liberal, but he wanted to give a voice to the unheard.
Mike.
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Why is the 1903 poem Boots" a 'popular vehicle for elocutionists'?

Beats the hell out of Vachel Lindsay.

Lars Eighner finger for geek code (Email Removed) http://www.io.com/~eighner / "The very essence of the creative is its novelty, and hence we have no standard by which to judge it." Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person
Why is the 1903 poem Boots" a 'popular vehicle for elocutionists'?

I took it almost verbatim from a crossword puzzle. Then I googled "Boots" and I was disappointed not to find any tongue twisters.
You put that in the present tense, as if we are all familiar with elocutionists and their preferences. Are there any "teachers of elocution" these days?

Probably not. Too bad, because I can use one.
Anyway, I see that the meter of this poem forces the reader to slow down and emphasize the words, so ... does not fit that meter, and maybe that prevents the whole poem from being too much of a steady sing-song.

Aha! So the elocutionistics of "Boots" are in the rhythm.
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I'm rare among my liberal confrères in liking Kipling, and I hold elocution in contempt. Unless you can show I'm ... folk that was his mission (and we are now the poorer for our poets' having retreated from the challenge).

I don't know much about RK's poetry, and the very little I read, I found rather amusing. But I'm not ashamed to admit that I really enjoyed "The Jungle Book". The book and the movies, especially the cartoon.
The poem was popular for a generation or two. It's dramatic, and highly rhythmic, so it makes a good performasnce piece.

Was it even more popular that "If"?
Why is the 1903 poem Boots" a 'popular vehicle for elocutionists'?

You put that in the present tense, as if we are all familiar with elocutionists and their preferences. Are there any "teachers of elocution" these days?

http://www.makethemostofyourvoice.com /

John Dean
Oxford
Don't know about "popular", but when I was at school in the 60s, we were exposed to many of Kipling's "Barrack Room Ballads" (and related poems) - "Boots", "Gunga Din", "Danny Deever", "Tommy", "Mandalay", etc.

I loved them, and still do, politically correct or not. Even Sir Henry Newbolt's "Vitai Lampada" has a certain something, depite being in many ways the antithesis of Kipling's gritty paeans to the common soldier:

There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night Ten to make and the match to win
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,
But his Captain's hand on his shoulder smote
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"
The sand of the desert is sodden red,
Red with the wreck of a square that broke;
The Gatling's jammed and the colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England's far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of schoolboy rallies the ranks,
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"
This is the word that year by year
While in her place the School is set
Every one of her sons must hear,
And none that hears it dare forget.
This they all with a joyful mind
Bear through life like a torch in flame,
And falling fling to the host behind
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"
Mike M
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