We are aware of the monstrous views that Kipling had towards the world but we want to asses the poem for that it is and not for Kipling's Views.
I wrote this with other locals to Sussex so that I could get there view as well as my own on what Kipling was saying because poetry means different things to different people and I wanted a well rounded overall view of the poem. Sussex means something to everyone but to no one does it mean the same, this was important to remember when constructing over peoples opinions and thinking about Kipling's own.
For me the opening stanza was the most meaningful and the one that I connected with most.
“GOD gave all men all earth to love,
But since our hearts are small,
Ordained for each one spot should prove
Belovèd over all;
That, as He watched Creation’s birth,
So we, in godlike mood,
May of our love create our earth
And see that it is good.”
This section is simple and sums up Kiplings true feelings towards Sussex with no deeper meaning, nothing hard to understand just stating his love for his some. Kipling uses the idea that all of earth is to be loved, yet we can not individually love all of it so each person has love for home and together the whole earth is loved.
This section of the poem that is talked about is from the perspective of another Sussex local, Will, who shared his opinion of what he reads and how he feels about Sussex, the poem and the county.
“No tender-hearted garden crowns,
No bosomed woods adorn
Our blunt, bow-headed, whale-backed Downs,
But gnarled and writhen thorn
Bare slopes where chasing shadows skim,
And, through the gaps revealed,
Belt upon belt, the wooded, dim,
Blue goodness of the Weald.”
Will said after reading this stanza that “to me its like he's celebrating the raw beauty of the landscape of Sussex” this was because when you look deeper into the words and give them meaning and context to the area you realise that Kipling has created a map of all the extraordinary features of the land.
As a whole this poem reminds me just why I love Sussex and why I'm so happy to call this place my home much the same as Kipling as all those years ago. I urge you to go and read the poem as a whole and try to see why we love Sussex so much but also why you love your home and what makes it home for you.
Find the poem at- http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_sussex.htm