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Collected Poems of Robert Service

4.45  ·  Rating Details ·  493 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
"THE LOCKET"
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 1907)
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(showing 1-30)
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Arah-Lynda
Jul 23, 2011 Arah-Lynda rated it it was amazing


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
...more
Terry Bonner
Jun 05, 2012 Terry Bonner rated it it was amazing
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
Becky
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
Cindy
Jul 25, 2011 Cindy rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays-poetry
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.
Liam Guilar
Aug 28, 2012 Liam Guilar rated it really liked it
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
Kerry Kenney
Jun 20, 2008 Kerry Kenney rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
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.
Jetta
Feb 23, 2008 Jetta rated it it was amazing
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.
Marsha
May 06, 2011 Marsha rated it really liked it
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
Nov 17, 2009 Chris Sherman rated it really liked it
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.
Nomad
Feb 01, 2009 Nomad rated it really liked it
There is a race of men who don't fit in.....A race that can't be still...so,they break the heart of kith and kin and rome the world at will..........Robert Service.........nomad
Gusmenary
Jul 05, 2008 Gusmenary rated it it was amazing
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.
Gloria
Mar 14, 2010 Gloria rated it really liked it
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.
Magnus
Sep 20, 2010 Magnus rated it it was amazing
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?
Claudia
Feb 02, 2015 Claudia rated it it was amazing
I grew up seeing this volume on my parents' bookshelf and now it is mine. This isn’t the kind of book that I read in a few days--it is 735 pages of poetry after all. I have been working on it for over a year, a few poems at a time. This collection includes six books: The Spell of the Yukon; Ballads of a Cheechako; Rhymes of a Rolling Stone; Rhymes of a Red Cross Man; Ballads of a Bohemian; and Bar-Room Ballads. Service’s best known poems--"The Shooting of Dan Mc Grew" and "The Cremation of Sam M ...more
Jim
Jan 01, 2015 Jim rated it it was amazing
Anyone out for some wonderful relaxation, pick this book up. I am not sure if your local book store would have it but I am sure your library would. This book is a collection of poetry by Robert Service. I came across this quite by accident and absolutely love his style. He was born in England in 1874, lived in Scotland, lived in Canada, Alaska, Turkey, back to England, France and was able to escape from France and back to the United States during the onset on war in Europe. His poetry is real an ...more
Jonathan
"I am not fool enough to think I am a poet, but I have a knack for rhyme and I love to make verses." -Mr. Service
I find this a good summery of Robert Service's Collected Poems, for although I enjoy his rhymes and verses they are all very straightforward and lack the creative and emotional charge I typically associate with poetry. Easy, enjoyable, and entertaining for the right audience I found myself skipping around the 700 pages without ever feeling drawn in by his words.
Overall: 3/5
Included in
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Brian Hopps
May 26, 2015 Brian Hopps rated it really liked it
I first heard about this poet from ad for Yukon Jack. "There's a race of men that don't fit in, A race that can't stay still; So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will."
He is probably not considered a great poet, but when you can get a guy to read poetry on his own, I think there is something to Robert Service. My favorite has become "The Cremation of Sam McGee". I probably have not read them all. He reminds me of O. Henry somehow, which seems about right since I
...more
Walter
Aug 25, 2016 Walter rated it it was amazing
Hands down my favourite poet of all time. I carry this book with me wherever I go, wherever I travel. Robert has been a good Service to me. I deeply admire his prose and themes. His dark comedic ballads, pensive reflections on human nature, and his deep appreciation of beauty. He has captured the spirit of a restless man, bent on seeing the world, and incapable of fitting in with fast-paced, urban, high-flung society. A man who desires the simple things and cherishes beauty in all its forms. He ...more
Geoff
Sep 15, 2015 Geoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Geoff by: John Scott
The Great Grandfather of Cowboy Poetry, I doubt if the was or is a western versifier that has not read the works of this master. Read it! Love it!

The Cremation of Sam McGee - By Robert W. Service

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.


Conti
...more
Meredith Bailey
May 17, 2015 Meredith Bailey rated it it was amazing
Hands down, my favorite poet. Anyone who closely read his diaries of his life as a Paris Bohemian, however, would know that he would demur at the label "poet," and call himself a mere "maker of verse." He is correct; there is a world of difference between Service's plain-spoken, sometimes lurid verse-based tales and the fancifulness of many a "higher poet," but that doesn't mean that Service's work is without art, beauty, or truth. There is hardly a single one of his poems that I don't love.
Mark
Apr 16, 2016 Mark rated it it was amazing
BEST. POET. EVER.

At least for me, he is. I'm not a fan of rhyme schemes in my poetry, but it's a technique I can forgive in this poet. His work just has great depth, beautiful word choice, and a devotion to the exploration of man and nature which stirs me to the core. Best poetry compilation I've bought to date.
Joe Lancaster
Jan 30, 2008 Joe Lancaster rated it really liked it
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..."
Karen
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!
Judy
Mar 28, 2011 Judy rated it really liked it
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.
Mairead
Jul 07, 2015 Mairead rated it it was amazing
I finally finished this by just reading a single poem each night. So many memories and while familiar with most of the poems found some I had long forgotten. I just want to start back at the first page and do it all again and I think I just might.
Duckpondwithoutducks
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.
Djorth
Jul 31, 2012 Djorth rated it it was amazing
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.
Karatremel
Jul 17, 2009 Karatremel rated it really liked it
Love his poetry. Ballad of the Ice Worm Cocktail...
Jabbott
Sep 05, 2008 Jabbott rated it it was amazing
The Cremation of Sam McGee is one of the best pieces of literature I have ever encountered.
Jim
Apr 04, 2009 Jim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 6-star-books
YES YES YES
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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...

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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.”
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