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The Shooting of Dan McGrew and Other Poems

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  74 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
The English-born poet lived in Canada most of his life, where he penned aspirited series of poems that recapture the rough-and-tumble life of the frontier'smining camps and saloons. Includes "The Spell of the Yukon," "The Heart of the Sourdough," "While the Bannock Bakes," and "The Squaw Man." ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published November 17th 2011 by Dover Publications (first published 1980)
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Oct 28, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it
I love Robert Service's poetry. My high school chemistry teacher used to get excited every year when it was cold enough to turn on the furnace at school, so he could recite The Cremation of Sam McGee to his classes. It was nice to read this collection, which included not only the better known Yukon Gold Rush-based stuff, but poems relating to Service's WWI service in the ambulance corps on the front lines. I do find it funny how Service is viewed as quintessentially Canadian (except to folks in ...more
Oct 04, 2013 Sean rated it liked it
This is the law of the Yukon, and ever she makes it plain:
"Send not your foolish and feeble; send me your strong and your sane--
Strong for the red rage of battle; sane, for I harry them sore;
Send me men girt for the combat, men who are grit to the core;
Swift as the panther in triumph, fierce as the bear in defeat,
Sired of a bulldog parent, steeled in the furnace heat.
-- From "The Law of the Yukon"

Robert Service was born in England, but lived in Canada for much of his life. His poems paint a col
Jan 22, 2008 Timothy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Timothy by: an old poetry professor
I have driven through Butte several times now, and the old mining stories seem to drift up above the town like old ghosts. I start wondering about their world once in a while, and sometimes I want to feel just a little of those old cold days. Robert Service takes you there with his easy rhymes and a specific sense of place. I love this book because it doesn't grieve for an old way of life, it breathes life into old stories that resonate when you look at the lifeless expanses of Montana in winter ...more
Sep 14, 2008 Raelene rated it it was amazing
I just love the rhythm and cadence of Service's poetry. And of course, the gripping story. My father used to recite bits and pieces of these poems; I learned to love Service in my father's voice and can't read anything without thinking of how it would sound with my father's inflection and cadence and enunciation.
Lydia Moses
Mar 31, 2013 Lydia Moses rated it really liked it
This is a book about the gold rush in Yukon, Canada. I did not know before reading this book that the gold rush also happened in Canada. I thought it was a California thing.
Memorized "The Shooting ..."
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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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“A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune;
Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
And watching his luck was his light-o'-love, the lady that's known as Lou.

When out of the night, which was fifty below, and into the din and the glare,
There stumbled a miner fresh from the creeks, dog-dirty, and loaded for bear.
He looked like a man with a foot in the grave and scarcely the strength of a louse,
Yet he tilted a poke of dust on the bar, and he called for drinks for the house.
There was none could place the stranger's face, though we searched ourselves for a clue;
But we drank his health, and the last to drink was Dangerous Dan McGrew.”
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