Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Robert William Service
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a poet and writer who has often been called "the Bard of the Yukon".

Service is best known for his poems "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee", from his first book, Songs of a Sourdough (1907; also published as The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses). "These humorous tales in verse were considered doggerel by the literary set, yet remain extremely popular to this day." Songs of a Sourdough has sold more than three million copies, making it the most commercially successful book of poetry of the 20th century.

Life

Early Life

Robert W. Service was born in Preston, Lancashire, England, ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''“Some praise the Lord for Light,
    The living spark;
    I thank God for the Night
    The healing dark.”''
    Robert W. Service
  • ''“I like to think that when I fall,
    A rain-drop in Deaths shoreless sea,
    This shelf of books along the wall,
    Beside my bed, will mourn for me.” ''
    Robert W. Service, Ballads of a Bohemian
  • “The Quitter

    When youre lost in the Wild, and youre scared as a child,
    And Death looks you bang in the eye,
    And youre sore as a boil, its according to Hoyle
    To cock...
    Robert W. Service
  • “Have you suffered, starved and triumphed, grovelled down, yet grasped at glory,
    Grown bigger in the bigness of the whole?
    Done things just for the doing, letting babblers tell the stor...
    Robert W. Service, The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses
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Comments about Robert William Service

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  • Albert Short (7/24/2016 3:55:00 PM)

    Mr Baneville would rather read pages and pages of explanations of a poets work explaining what he was trying to say when you know exactly what Mr Service is saying immediately. By the way Robert W Service has sold many more books of poetry than Wordsworth.So evidently somebody likes him. But Service was a modest man and when he was being lauded he said oh don't put me up there with the big boys just call me rhymer. And what a rhymer he was.

  • Poetic Breath Poetic Breath (7/22/2016 8:20:00 AM)

    I love to read poems by this poet

  • James Banville (8/15/2015 6:11:00 AM)

    Rubbish. How can anyone but a moron take this drivel seriously? Wordsworth must be spinning in his grave.

  • Rich Persoff (1/22/2014 6:46:00 PM)

    Interestingly enough, the ugly American was an unhandsome person who (as I remember from having read the book more than 40 years ago) was a particularly nice guy and did a lot for the local people. Unfortunate but understandable, that his nickname has become an epithet for the kind of person Mag describes, but whom he most decidedly was not!

  • Acupuncter Zen (6/20/2012 6:50:00 PM)

    Mag Uidhir: Actually, The Ugly American, is book, and even a movie which starred Marlon Brando. You in turn are sounding a bit of an ass by trying to school people in the obvious. Enjoy the poetry and save the pedantic for your epitaph.

  • Calico Jack Calico Jack (4/23/2012 10:47:00 AM)

    HAHA! Nice one Mag Uidhur. I cracked up reading your comment. Its about time somebody dropped some knowledge on the ignoramuses.

  • Mag Uidhir (4/21/2012 8:50:00 PM)

    Sara. I can only assume you are American. Have you ever heard the phrase Ugly American? It is a derogatory term for Americans who travel to foreign destinations and completely ignore the culture there, eat at McDonalds, drink Bud Lite then go home and tell their friends that Paris was boring because the only restaurant they could find was McDonalds. Ugly Americans also like to brag about how great they are and take credit for things that aren't theirs. Such is your statement that Robert Service was the most important AMERICAN storyteller of this century. You may be shocked by this but Service was born in England then emigrated to Canada where he became a CANADIAN cultural treasure. A short biography is on this site. Please read it.

  • Koena Mokoena Koena Mokoena (10/24/2011 3:08:00 AM)

    Hey yo! i am one of the young up & coming poet, who is trying to establish my career across the globe. Hence, i have friends in Pakistan, United Kingdom, Turkey, America & India. So, i want to thank you for advising me about my life, because i have obtain my peace of mind, due to your poem by the name of ' Home & love'. I finally understand the reason behind my challenges as a first born, because my Father doesn't have time to teach me. So, you have made my day with your creativity, because it sounds as if you saw it from the beginning...Have a nice day!

    Mr. Koena France Mokoena
    Country: South Africa
    Website: www.poemhunter.com/kfmproductions
    Contact number: +27710329734.

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  • Nelson Ferreira Alves (3/23/2008 11:22:00 AM)

    In you words have a so out mathematical way...so free and more free yet.

    The most beautiful poem i read for the last long searching days.

    Thank You

Read all 13 comments »
Best Poem of Robert William Service

The Cremation Of Sam Mcgee

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 like a spell;
Though he'd often say in ...

Read the full of The Cremation Of Sam Mcgee

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