The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses by Robert W. ServiceThe collection of poetry is very, very dear to my heart. My father owned this book, and despite its weight, carried it with him any time he went rock climbing or back packing. Later, when we were children sitting at the campfire Dad would recite the longer poems to us- Cremation of Sam McGee, Spell of the Yukon, and the Shooting of Dan McGrew- all from memory. They were good times.
I eventually found the exact same copy type that my dad had carried with him all those years at a library sale. Now it sits proudly in my library.
Poetry is not normally for me, but Robert W. Service was an amazing man. His poetry is evocative and beautiful, but it’s never snobbish or confusing. It’s very straight forward. He was nick-named the People’s Poet, and I truly believe that anyone can enjoy his works. He panned for gold in the Yukon, he lived carefree in France as a Bohemian, and he served in the first World War as an ambulance man- the pain, love, action, and heroism of his life are all present in his poems.
I do enjoy some of his other collections, but Spell of the Yukon will always be one of the most important books in my life.
This book is offered for free as an eBook by Project Gutenberg, and is offered as an audiobook by Librivox.
Born in Lancashire, England to a bank cashier and an heiress, poet Robert William Service moved to Scotland at the age of five, living with his grandfather and three aunts until his parents moved to Glasgow four years later and the family reunited. He wrote Prose Home Harriet Blog. Visit Home Events Exhibitions Library. Newsletter Subscribe Give. Poetry Foundation. Back to Previous.
Robert W. Service was born in in Preston, Lancashire, England and was the eldest child of He composed his first poem at the age of 6 while living with his paternal grandfather and maiden aunts in Scotland. A mischievous youth, Robert always dreamt of adventure and going to sea. Following in his father's footsteps, Robert trained as a bank cashier. His regular income afforded him enough time to write, earn extra money, and read Browning Tennyson Thackery and Keats. After a promotion at the bank, Robert began working on his physical condition while saving money away and dreaming of some day being a cowboy in Western Canada.