Collected Poems
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Collected Poems

4.43 of 5 stars 4.43  ·  rating details  ·  337 ratings  ·  35 reviews
From out her shabby rain-coat pocket
The little Jew girl in the train
Produced a dinted silver locket
With pasted in it portraits twain.
"These are my parents, sir" she said;
"Or were, for now I fear they're dead.

"I know to Belsen they were sent;
I never heard of them again.
So many were like that - they went,
Our woeful quest was all in vain.
I was in London with a fri...more
Hardcover, 752 pages
Published January 11th 1989 by Putnam Adult (first published January 1st 1948)
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms
and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam ‘round the Pole,
God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him lik
Terry Bonner
Come on now. In your heart of hearts, you love Robert Service's poetry. I have been reading and rereading it since I was ten, when my first employer, a warm-hearted and literary Southern gentleman named Frank Raulston, would sometimes recite long passages from memory. I have encountered many men throughout this continent from all walks of life with whom I have formed a lasting bond and instant rapport simply because we shared a stanza from Robert Service. His work is not majestic or profound, bu...more
Liam Guilar
I don't think the poem quoted above (on Goodreads) instead of a book description is in this book?

There was a time when all kinds of people, many with no interest in poetry, quoted Service and Kipling and Omar K and then it became very unfashionable.

Service never called himself a poet and wrote strictly metrical rhyming verse. 'Songs of A Sourdough', is probably his best individual collection and contains most of the poems he's famous for; poems about the Yukon Gold Rush of the 1890s.

Even if...more
As I get older, I become more tolerant of poetry. Most of its too flightly or symbolic for me though, and I prefer it to tell a story, so when its not I often skip over it. That is not the case with this collection. Robert Service is known as the Bard of the North, and as the people’s poet. He really write so that everyone can understand, but its still so beautiful. He captures the deadly beauty of the Yukon, the tenacity of the human spirit, the weakness of the human condition. His poems about...more
I let you in on a secret I took this book out of the library in my elementary school year I was probably in grade 7 and I never returned it because it held so much meaning to me, it made such a big impact on me that I just could not part with it. Robert Service's poems is poetry that lasts forever in your heart and makes you look at poetry differently from there on.
A magical ride of beauty and literacy that is sure to create a long love of the genre.
When I was young our parents took us camping. Around the campfire my father would recite "The Cremation of Sam Magee". It was always so great. I found the collected poems much later in life. Love them.
Chris Sherman
A gem. Alaskan poems that are so "American" you have gold dust behind your ears, Mississippi mud in your socks, and an arrow through your heart when you finish just a few of these.
There is a race of men who don't fit in.....A race that can't be,they break the heart of kith and kin and rome the world at will..........Robert Service.........nomad
Immediately after hearing The Cremation of Sam Mcgee when I was ten I checked it out of the library and memorized it. I still know it entirely word for word. AAnd although the same can't be said for The Shooting of Sam Mcgraw, The Ballad of Blasphemous Bill, Clancy of the Mounties or The Spell of the Yukon they are all my among my favorite works of poetry.

"You are but a beat in times great heart"

Robert Service. Beautiful.
I went on a fantastic canoe trip in British Columbia. Our guide recited Robert Service by campfirelight and I've been hooked every since. Robert Service wrote rambling story poems that were drawn from his experiences in the far north of Canada.

Poetry to read aloud, memorize and share with kids. Great stuff here.
I know many people dismiss Service as "cowboy" poetry, but if you read his entire collection, it's quite varied. The fact that this man has so many life experiences from which to draw makes his poetry that much more appealing to me.
And "The Mountain and the Lake" still remains one of my favorite poems of all time.
I have always loved the poetry of Robert W. Service as did my father before me and independently of both of us, my brother too. I little realised as a child that one day I would marry and move to the USA where my new Father in Law would recite these cherished poems for audiences. Fate eh?
All kinds of poetry from the bar room ballads of the Yukon to the Bohemian quatrians of Paris. Humorous as well as meloncholy, fanciful and brutally honest. All in one collection spanning 3 decades. Includes "Rhymes of a Red Cross Man" the best selling non-ficton work in 1916.
Joe Lancaster
Alaskana... a must read for people interested in Alaska and the Yukon.

"The Cremation of Sam McGee" is especially delightful, even if poetry isn't your thing (as it isn't really mine).

"Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee where the cotton blooms and blows..."
I knew the title of a famous poem by Robert Service, The Cremation Of Sam McGee, but I wasn't sure if I had ever read it, so I read this book! His poems are easily understandable, full of colloquial language, surprising twists at the end, and very enjoyable.
May 01, 2008 Karen added it
Five Stars! A magnificant collection of poetry covering Service's days in the frozen Yukon, as a Red Cross ambulance driver in WWI, and his days in Paris. Even if you think don't like poetry, you'll enjoy this!
Love his ballads, some of them are hilarious. Most of his Yukon poetry is more sober and leaves of the impression that he felt like he never fit into the society he was born into so became a wanderer.
Chad Gibbons
I've been hooked on Robert Service ever since I was in elementary school. The other day, I happened to pick up this book on my way to bed. I sat down and didn't stop reading for three hours.
Okay, so I haven't read every single poem in this book, but I have read many of them and I do love his style and his sense of humor. When you read some of these poems you've just got to smile.
I fell in love with this book when a friend of my parents let me read her copy when I was nine. My parents got me a copy for my tenth birthday and it has been a cherished possesion ever since.
A folk poet that I really enjoy. I discovered Service after hearing him read at a last lecture. "The Quitter" is one of my favorites, he's a nice break from the Avant Garde poets I normally read.
Nov 30, 2007 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
I really love the poetry of Bob Service. The "frontier" stuff isn't my bag, but his writing about the First World War is heart stoppingly beautiful and sad. Amazing.
I grew up reading Mr. Service's works. I still pick up this collection at least once a week, sit back, relax and relive days of old. By far, my favorite.
This book should be required for any outing which includes a campfire! Of particular interest are the tail of the ice worm cocktail and the tale of Sam Mcgee.
Clark S
My mother used to read poetry to us when we were young.

I always loved the epic type poetry of Service, Longfellow and Kipling.

Still do.
The Cremation of Sam McGee is one of the best pieces of literature I have ever encountered.
Jul 21, 2008 Liv added it
My favorite poet. Best read over a campfire with a flashlight shining in the readers face!
All you could ever wish to know about Yukon gold rush told in poetry and with a wry sense of humor!
and currently reading. HE is one of the best poets of the Yukon ever.
Gene H hennighg
Especially necessary. The Cremation of Sam McGee is an American classic.
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Robert William Service was born into a Scottish family while they were living in Preston, England. He was schooled in Scotland, attending Hillhead High School in Glasgow. He moved to Canada at the age of 21 when he gave up his job working in a Glasgow bank, and traveled to Vancouver Island, British Columbia with his Buffalo Bill outfit and dreams of becoming a cowboy.

He drifted around western Nor...more
More about Robert W. Service...
The Cremation of Sam McGee The Best of Robert Service The Spell of the Yukon Best Tales of the Yukon The Shooting of Dan McGrew and Other Poems

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“It wallowed in its water-bed; it burrowed, heaved and swung;
It gnawed its way ahead with grunts and sighs;
Its bill of fare was rock and sand; the tailings were its dung;
It glared around with fierce electric eyes.
Full fifty buckets crammed its maw;
it bellowed out for more;
It looked like some great monster in the gloom.”
“The Call of the Wild
They have cradled you in custom, they have primed you with their preaching,
They have soaked you in convention through and through;
They have put you in a showcase; you're a credit to their teaching–
But can't you hear the wild?–it's calling you.
Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;
Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us,
And the wild is calling, calling . . . . let us go.”
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