Banning Books

K Morris - Poet

A couple of weeks ago, I fell into conversation with a librarian. During the course of our conversation she mentioned that the library does not stock books which their readers might “find offensive”. This exchange got me thinking about how one defines what constitutes “offensive”, and whether something being so classified is a sufficient reason for not allowing it on to the library’s shelves.

The great English author and poet, Rudyard Kipling is loved by people of every race and creed. Yet a number of his writings would, in today’s society be considered “offensive” by many. Take, for instance his poem “The Stranger” which begins thus:

“The Stranger within my gate,
He may be true or kind,
But he does not talk my talk –
I can not feel his mind.
I see the face and the eyes and the mouth,
But not the soul behind.

The men of my…

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6 Responses to Banning Books

  1. Many thanks for sharing my post. Much appreciated. Best – Kevin

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  2. heahtmonster says:

    Given Kippling’s beliefs, I can see how that poem would be offensive. But what he writes about is all too true: it is, indeed, a little – and sometimes a lot – harder to connunicate with people different from us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that it can sometimes be dificult to communicate with people who are different from ourselves. However, this is not, in my experience down to race. It usually flows from having nothing in common with the person with whom we are conversing. As a white European I have found myself bored to tears when talking with a person of the same skin colour as myself, while I have been deeply interested when conversing with asian, black etc people. Having the same educational level, interests etc is (in my view) what matters, not the colour of an individual’s skin.

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    • Patty says:

      Of course the poem is offensive in this day and time but back then it was considered the right thing.

      Also offensive or not who gets to decide that? Also what do we end up if we let the government rule what we read?

      Liked by 1 person

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