Introduction     

Rudyard Kipling wrote the poem titled “Machines.” The poem can be regarded as a mechanical recitation. It calls our attention to both, the incredible powers of machines and the things they are unable to perform. 

About the poet

Rudyard Kipling [1865-1936] was a British novelist, short story writer, and poet who was born in India. He was born and raised in England, but returned to India to work as a journalist. Barrack – Room Ballads, Kim, Captain Courageous are among of his most well-known pieces. “Just 50 tales” and “Puck of Pook’s Hill” are two of his best-selling novels. Rudyard Kipling is one of the most well-known poets and storytellers of the late Victorian era. In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. 

Theme

Rudyard Kipling emphasized the importance of machines and their usefulness in his poem. Just like everything has advantages and disadvantages, machines are no exception. The poem is written in a way that it looks like a set of dialogues from machines to humans. The lines appear to be an acknowledgement of machine’s responsibilities as well as some warnings for human safety.

Structure

The poem is subdivided into five stanzas, each of which is made up of quatrains (4 lines). The poem maintains a light-hearted tone of voice while conveying a striking message. The poem has a well-maintained rhyme scheme. The rhyme scheme is ‘abab’.

Stanza 1

We were taken from the ore-bed and the mine,
We were melted in the furnace and the pit
We were cast and wrought and hammered to design,
We were cut and filed and tooled and gauged to fit.

The poet explains how the machines are made and what kind of care they require. The machines convey to us that they were mined in the furnace after being retrieved from the ore bed. They were cast into the pit. Hammering has bent them out of shape. They were filed and clipped. They were then gauged and tooled to fit.

Stanza 2

Some water, coal, and oil is all we ask,
And a thousandth of an inch to give us play:
And now, if you will set us to our task,
We will serve you four and twenty hours a day!

Only water, coal, and oil are required by the machines. It just takes a fraction of a thousand to get them to work. They will serve us twenty-four hours a day if we give them a duty.

Stanza 3

We can pull and haul and push and lift and drive,
We can print and plough and weave and heat and light,
We can run and race and swim and fly and dive,
We can see and hear and count and read and write!

The poet implies that machines can do a wide range of tasks in this verse. They have the ability to pull, drag, push, lift, and drive. In addition, they can print, plough, weave, heat, and ignite. They also have the capacity to run, race, swim, fly, and dive. They can also see, hear, count, read, and write. Humans have already accomplished all of these tasks. But these devices have now made their job a lot simpler.

Stanza 4

Bat remember; please, the Law by which we live,
We are not built to comprehend a lie,
We can neither love nor pity nor forgive,
If you make a slip in handling us you die!

However, the poet states that we must remember the law under which we live. Machines weren’t primarily designed to comprehend any lies. They are devoid of all emotions and feelings. They have no sympathy or forgiveness for anyone. One might even die if they make a minor blunder in treating them right.

Stanza 5

Though our smoke may hide the Heavens from your eyes,
It will vanish and the stars will shine again,
Because, for all our power and weight and size,
We are nothing more than children of your brain!

After all, machines aren’t flawless creations, and Mother Nature always wins. Machines were not created in a magical way. They are nothing more than a human’s brain child- the result of the human mind’s imagination.