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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18454/RULB.2020.22.2.22

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Sapozhnikova A.Yu. PERCEPTION OF BALLADE FORM IN J.R. KIPLING’S LYRICS / A.Yu. Sapozhnikova // Russian Linguistic Bulletin. — 2020. — № 2 (22). — С. 144—146. — URL: http://rulb.org/ru/article/%d1%80%d0%b5%d1%86%d0%b5%d0%bf%d1%86%d0%b8%d1%8f-%d0%b6%d0%b0%d0%bd%d1%80%d0%be%d0%b2%d0%be%d0%b9-%d1%84%d0%be%d1%80%d0%bc%d1%8b-%d1%84%d1%80%d0%b0%d0%bd%d1%86%d1%83%d0%b7%d1%81%d0%ba%d0%be%d0%b9/ (дата обращения: 20.04.2021. ). doi:doi.org/10.18454/RULB.2020.22.2.22
Sapozhnikova A.Yu. PERCEPTION OF BALLADE FORM IN J.R. KIPLING’S LYRICS / A.Yu. Sapozhnikova // Russian Linguistic Bulletin. — 2020. — № 2 (22). — С. 144—146. doi:doi.org/10.18454/RULB.2020.22.2.22

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Сапожникова А.Ю.1
1 , Волховский филиал Российского государственного педагогического университета им. А.И. Герцена, Волхов, Россия
РЕЦЕПЦИЯ ЖАНРОВОЙ ФОРМЫ ФРАНЦУЗСКОЙ БАЛЛАДЫ В ЛИРИКЕ ДЖ.Р. КИПЛИНГА
Аннотация
В данной статье рассматривается восприятие и переосмысление жанровой формы французской баллады в лирическом творчестве одного из крупнейших поэтов викторианской эпохи – Джозефа Редьярда Киплинга. На материале произведений Киплинга прослеживаются эволюционные изменения в освоении французской баллады викторианскими лириками, трансформация жанровой формы и ее упрощение. Рецепция Киплингом данной твердой формы французской лирики рассматривается в историко-литературном контексте эпохи и в контексте литературных связей автора. Материалы и результаты исследования могут быть применены в курсе преподавания истории зарубежной литературы, спецкурсах по европейскому стиховедению в вузе.
Ключевые слова: викторианская лирика, Дж. Р. Киплинг, английская баллада, французская баллада, посылка (l’envoi).
Страницы: 144 - 146

Sapozhnikova A.Yu.1
1 , Volkhov branch of Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, Volkhov, Russia
PERCEPTION OF BALLADE FORM IN J.R. KIPLING’S LYRICS
Abstract
The article describes and discusses perception of ballade genre form in lyrics by Joseph Rudyard Kipling, one of the most prominent Victorian authors. Transformation of ballade form in Victorian verse, and simplification of it is discussed on the material of Kipling’s works. The poet’s perception of ballade is viewed upon in the cultural context of Victorian period and is compared with those of other famous Victorian authors. Materials and results of the research could be applied in teaching courses on History of the Foreign Literature, special courses on the European verse in the university.
Keywords: Victorian lyrics, J.R. Kipling, ballad form, ballade form, l’envoi.
Pages: 144 - 146
Почта авторов / Author Email: anna_sapozhn[at]mail.ru

Introduction

The genre form of ballade, which was especially popular in French poetry of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, attracted attention of many contemporary poets, as well as the authors of later periods (including representatives of English literature). Ballade consisted of three main stanzas, which had the same rhythmic structure and complex scheme of rhyming, and a shortened final stanza, or l'envoi; all four stanzas ended with the same refrain. During the Renaissance epoch, English authors (especially Elizabethan poets) tried to master this form, but later interest to it weakened.

Victorian epoch, being the age of the so-called “medieval revival”, became also the period of ballade revival in English literature, due to the creative activities of Pre-Raphaelites (Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Algernon Charles Swinburne, and others). At the end of the century Joseph Rudyard Kipling developed the ballade traditions in his verse and mastered this French lyrical form.

Methods and principles of the research

In this research we employed the following methods: the method of literary , contextual and comparative analysis, and elements of the method of linguistic stylistic analysis.

Discussion

The French genre form of ballade was one of the so-called lyrical “formes fixes”, especially popular in the XIV — XV centuries [1, P.29]. It consisted of three main stanzas that have the same rhythmic structure and complex rhyming pattern (schematically it can be conveyed as ababbcbc), and a shortened final stanza, or l’envoi. All four stanzas ended with the same refrain.

Ballade texts, often official and solemn, contained elaborate symbolism and classical reminiscences. Ballades were preceded by the songs of the troubadours and trouvers [4, P. 148]. In the XV — XVI centuries. English authors (especially Elizabethan poets) tried to master this genre form, but during Baroque and Classicism periods, interest in it waned.

Pre-Raphaelite poets A.Ch. Swinburne and D.G. Rossetti, whose attention was drawn to the work of François Villon and who translated many of his works ([9]; [10]), mastered the genre forms of French lyrics (sestina, rondeau, ballade) on English language material [8, P. 88; P.92].

The author who developed this tradition in English poetry at the turn of the XIX — XX centuries was Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936). This happened after Kipling became acquainted with A.Ch. Swinburne's collection of “Poems and Ballads, Second Series” (1878) [3, P.177].

It should be noted that even in early Kipling’s verse, in the years of his so-called "literary apprenticeship", we find various experiments with the metrics and rhyme schemes of the poetic texts. The young poet was interested in imitating complex rhyming schemes and unusual structural patterns (which were characteristic for lyrical forms of medieval and Renaissance poetry and revived by the Pre-Raphaelites). For example, in early 1880s. Kipling created the work “The Missing Word, or the Musical Toon Tree”, a parody of the French ballade form with its strict rhyming system which requires a large number of words with similar endings:

L’Envoi

Shah, Sultan, Prince, Kaiser, King, Negus, or Woon,

You may search, if you like, from December to June,

Rack Roget’s Thesaurus and read till you swoon,

But unless you work in some allusion to “dune”,

I don’t think you’ll get a fresh rhyme to Maroon [6, P. 310].

It’s clearly seen that the end of each line of the poem contains a rhyme on — [u: n]. This Kipling’s experiment reminds of the episode from biography of Swinburne, who once, while travelling by train, in two hours wrote his poem “Faustine”, aiming at exhausting all rhymes on [-i:n] [5, P.293].

Later (in 1880s-1890s) Kipling did not lose interest in French formes fixes, but continued mastering them, creating a number of poems that were included in his early collections, namely, “Poems by Two Authors” (1885) and “Departmental Ditties” (1886): “A Ballad of Break Up”, “A Ballad of Jakko Hill”, “A Ballad of Photographs”, “Sestina of the Tramp Royal”, and others [6].

It is interesting that, while reviving the long-known genre form of the French ballade, Kipling addressed in these lyrics topics that were close for him and his circle – inhabitants of colonial India.

Behold, O fortune-favored one

To whom this dainty book may fall,

Pachmarri, Muttra, Brindabun

Shall rise you before at your call!

(“A Ballad of Photographs” [6, P. 451])

This fact requires special attention, because it’s possible to state that due to Kipling’s innovative experiments with ballade, this form genuinely revived in English literature.

It’s very interesting to note how the very term ballade was slightly transformed by Pre-Raphaelites (and later, by Kipling) in their verse. Swinburne and Rossetti “took their first steps” in this direction, and, notably, they tend to call their lyrical works not the French word ballade, but the English ballad, thus indicating that those poetic form belonged to English literature [3, P.139].

However, as it was mentioned above, the canons of the aforementioned poetic forms (English ballad and French ballade), and the rules of their structuring differ considerably [1, P.29]; [2, P.125; P. 146], and, by calling their works ballades, the authors indicated belonging of these works to English literature, including ballade in English genre canon.

Kipling's contribution to this process was also significant. As well as the Pre-Raphaelite poets, he rejected the traditional ballade complex rhyming system unusual for the English language. At the same time, he violated the canon demanding the strict number of stanzas in such texts and introduced colloquialisms and exoticisms in his ballades.

An example below is a stanza from a later Kipling’s ballade. Its title is already remarkable: “Half-ballad of Waterval”. We also may note that Kipling, following Swinburne and Rossetti, calls his ballades in English — "ballad" (regardless of these forms structural difference).

When by the labor of my ‘ands

I’ve ‘elped to pack a transport tight

With prisoners for foreign lands,

I ain’t transported with delight.

I know it’s only just an ’right,

But yet it somehow sickens me,

For I’ave learnt at Waterval

The meaning of captivity!

(“Half-ballad of Waterval” [7, P. 388])

It is clearly seen from the given quotation that, in comparison with the medieval French canon, the rhyming scheme is broken here: instead of ababbcbcababbcdc. The ballade contains four stanzas with such a rhyming scheme, l’envoi is missing.

The originality of this ballade lies in the usage of colloquial words and expressions, and linguistic inaccuracies conveyed graphically (‘elped, I’ave, ain’t, an’right, meanin’). It is very likely that in this way the author made his poem closer to those of his readers who were half-educated and semi-literate.

As a curious fact, it can be mentioned that some structural elements of the ballade were also re-thought by J. R. Kipling. Several collections of the author’s works end with a special dedication, a poem, which the author himself called l’envoi. which also causes association with the French genre form of ballade.  Thus, the poet termed so not the final fragments of the text (as l'envoi in ballade), but the final works in his poetical collections.

Results

So, in Joseph Rudyard Kipling's poetry, the Pre-Raphaelite revival of medieval genre forms developed. In this regard, the author continues such innovative experiments of his senior contemporaries as the rejection of a complex rhyming system and adapting the specifics of this genre form to the peculiarities of English prosody. Moreover, J. R. Kipling often did not include l’envoi in the ballade text, saturated his texts with English colloquialisms and exotic lexemes, making it more understandable and closer to mass reader (especially to the semi-literate people and English-speaking inhabitants of colonial India).

Conclusion

We can conclude that Joseph Rudyard Kipling’s innovative experiments with the genre form of ballade contributed much to the further development of medieval genre traditions in English poetry, popularization of ballade with the readers of the British Empire, and revival of interest to it.

Список литературы / References:
  1. Витковская А.Д. Опыт сопоставительного исследования английской и французской средневековой баллады / А.Д. Витковская // Вестник Московского Университета. - Серия 9. Филология. - 1981. - №5. - С. 29-36.
  2. Гаспаров М.Л. Очерк истории европейского стиха / М.Л. Гаспаров. - М., Фортуна Лимитед, 2003. – 272 c.
  3. Корепанова А.Ю. Литературные связи А.Ч. Суинберна (на материале сборников серий «Стихотворения и баллады» (1866 - 1889)): дисс... канд. филол. наук: 10.01.03: защищена 16.02.2006; утв. 22.09.2006 / Корепанова Анна Юрьевна. - Санкт-Петербург, 2006. – 240 с.
  4. Friedman A. The Ballad Revival / A. Friedman - Chicago – London, 1961. – 383 р.
  5. Hyder Cl. C. Swinburne’s Literary Career and Fame / Cl.C. Hyder. - Durham, 1933. – 388 р.
  6. Kipling J. R. Early Verse by Rudyard Kipling / J.R. Kipling. - London, 1986. – 503 р.
  7. Kipling J.R. The Complete Verse / J.R. Kipling. - London, 1994. – 704 р.
  8. Laws G. The British Literary Ballad / G. Laws. - Southern Illinois Press, 1972. – 180 р.
  9. Swinburne A.Ch. Poems and Ballads, Second Series / A.Ch. Swinburne. - London, 1878. – 240 р.
  10. Rossetti D.G. Ballads and Sonnets / D.G. Rossetti. - Leipzig, 1881. – 338 р.

Список литературы на английском / References in English:
  1. Vitkovskaya, A.D. Opyt sopostavitel’nogo issledovanija angliyskoj i frantsuzskoj srednevekovoj ballady [The experience of a comparative study of English medieval ballad genre and French medieval ballade genre] / A.D. Vitkovskaya // Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Serija 9. Filologija [Moscow State University Bulletin. Series 9. Philology] - 1981. – No 5. - P. 29-36. [in Russian]
  2. Gasparov, M.L. Ocherk istorii evropejskogo stikha [Essay on the history of the European verse] / M.L. Gasparov. - Мoscow, Fortuna Limited, 2003. – 272 p. [in Russian]
  3. Korepanova, A.Yu. Literaturnye svyazi A. Ch. Suinberna (na materiale sbornikov serij “Stikhotvoreniya i ballady” (1866 – 1889)) [A.Ch. Swinburne’s literary relations (on the material of the collections of series "Poems and Ballads" (1866 – 1889))]: dis… of PhD in Philology: 10.01.03: defense of the thesis 16.02.06: approved 22.09.06/ Korepanova Anna Yur’evna. - SPb.: [b.i.], 2006. - 240 p. [in Russian]
  4. Friedman A. The Ballad Revival / A. Friedman - Chicago – London, 1961. – 383 р.
  5. Hyder Cl. C. Swinburne’s Literary Career and Fame / Cl.C. Hyder. - Durham, 1933. – 388 р.
  6. Kipling J. R. Early Verse by Rudyard Kipling / J.R. Kipling. - London, 1986. – 503 р.
  7. Kipling J.R. The Complete Verse / J.R. Kipling. - London, 1994. – 704 р.
  8. Laws G. The British Literary Ballad / G. Laws. - Southern Illinois Press, 1972. – 180 р.
  9. Swinburne A.Ch. Poems and Ballads, Second Series / A.Ch. Swinburne. - London, 1878. – 240 р.
  10. Rossetti D.G. Ballads and Sonnets / D.G. Rossetti. - Leipzig, 1881. – 338 р.

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