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Best Tales of the Yukon

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  103 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
In 1904, the Canadian Bank of Commerce transferred teller Robert W. Service to the Yukon Territory. Soon, he was famous as the poet who chronicled the Klondike gold rush and the savage beauty of the frozen north. His tales of hard-bitten propectors and sourdoughs in "The Land God Forgot" make vivid, exciting reading. Here are all the brawling, colorful characters that Serv ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Running Press (first published March 1st 1983)
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Aug 02, 2007 Thomas rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Excerpt from "The Black Fox Skin"

"Did ever you see such a skin?" quoth he; "there's nought in the world so fine--
Such fullness of fur as black as the night, such lustre, such size, such shine;
It's life to a one-lunged man like me; it's London, it's women, it's wine.

"The Moose-hides called it the devil-fox, and swore that no man could kill;
That he who hunted it, soon or late, must surely suffer some ill;
But I laughed at them and their old squaw-tales. Ha! Ha! I'm laughing still.

"For look ye, the
Aug 24, 2007 Crystal rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: even people who don't usually like poetry
Shelves: classics
I admit I'm one of those dreadfully uncultured people that don't really "get" poetry, or really enjoy it. Kinda like opera. But Robert W Service's poetry is amazing. much like Kipling, his poetry is intensely visual and realistic--it takes you to a very specific place, without romanticizing it. and he has some of the brilliant cadences and turn of phrase on a level with Poe. Or so I think. All I know is that while I don't love poetry, I do love this collection. The Harpy is my favorite poem of a ...more
Jun 11, 2010 Carey rated it it was amazing
I did not know of the actual book of poetry by Robert Service, but I knew many of the famous lines and verses that have been quoted in other popular pieces of literature and even in the occasional news article. I believe I quoted one line I liked over dinner, and my Dad instantly recognized it as belonging to a famous poem by Robert Service. Now, my father is not the world's greatest authority on poetry, but it was clear when he gave me this book that he revered it and thought I would love it. O ...more
Feb 16, 2008 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, all-time-favs
I can't read the Spell of the Yukon without crying. I think everyone should know what it's like to feel God* enter your lungs when you take in a landscape. Robert Service obviously did.

*I use "God" as a placeholder for an actual deity or the Force or Gaia or simply a profound appreciation for life -- whatever you believe in.
Apr 27, 2012 Charles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
What an awesome collection. I don't think I've ever been put more 'in' the moment than in these poems by Robert W. Service about the Yukon and the gold fields. You can feel the cold and the mud and taste every one of the emotions. These are masterpieces. Second only to Dylan Thomas's "Collected Poems" as my favorite poetry collection of all time.
Jan 28, 2013 MaryReadsRomance rated it really liked it
A favorite. Still can recite the poem "Grin" from memory more than 30 years after reading it. Loved the Funeral of Sam McGree and so much more from the Tales of The Yukon. Had a very old leather bound, hand sewn edition that was stolen during a corporate relocation... damn pirates!
Oct 08, 2013 Amber rated it liked it
I'm not usually a poetry reader, but I enjoyed this collection of tales. It was fun and exciting to read about the tales of the Yukon. I would have to say that my favorite poem in the collection was "The Cremation of Sam McGee"
Mark Nenadov
Classic Northern poetry. Some of the poems didn't do much for me, but most are good. The top 20% of them are very, very, very good.
Landon Hale
Sep 12, 2016 Landon Hale rated it it was amazing
Robert Service is the reason I love poetry and this collection of the Yukon is a grand example as to why. If I could give this twenty stars I would!
Aug 28, 2007 Neil rated it it was amazing
Kick ass frontier poetry.
Jan 17, 2013 Erin rated it it was amazing
These poems are uncomplicated while still doing an excellent job of conveying the loneliness, wildness, and attraction of the West. One of my newer favorites.
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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
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