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Songs of a Sourdough
Songs of a Sourdough
Songs of a Sourdough
Электронная книга91 страница1 час

Songs of a Sourdough

Рейтинг: 4.5 из 5 звезд



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Songs of a Sourdough by Robert Service, defined a place and time like only a truly great poet can. Set in the Yukon during the great Klondike gold rush, this collection of poems is full of the wild characters, the freezing snow storms and the vast staggering beauty Artic wilderness. Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. Hesperides Press are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
ИздательRead Books Ltd.
Дата выпуска15 янв. 2013 г.
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Robert W. Service

Robert W. Service (1874-1958) was born in Preston, Lancashire, England, and came to Canada in 1895, eventually ending up in Yukon Territory in 1904, five years after the Klondike Gold Rush. His many books include the poetry collection The Songs of a Sourdough, the novel The Trail of '98, and the autobiography Ploughman of the Moon. Service later moved to France, where he died.

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Рейтинг: 4.333333333333333 из 5 звезд

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  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    Many of the classic poems of Robert Service, including "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee" Common man rhyming poetry; Full of humor and thoughtfulness.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    This is a reissue of the 1907 book published by Dodd, Mead & Company and it includes besides "The Spell of the Yukon," such poems by Robert Service as "The Shooting of Dan McGrew," "The Cremation of Sam McGee," "The Younger Son," "The Woman and the Angel," and others.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    My fourth grade teacher introduced me to Robert Service by reading The Cremation of Sam McGee to the class. I have been a fan of his ever since and have read most of his poetry. This book does not disappoint. It consists of 34 poems, including the Cremation of Sam McGee.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    My maternal grandfather loved the poems of Robert Service. I am told that he would recite them a lot to entertainn people. His coppy of poems I beleive went to a cousin and I was unable to locate a tape of his recitaions so I just ended up buying my own copy. The poems are witty and I have a special place for them due to my granddaddy.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    I find reviewing poetry really difficult, so I don't have anything particularly brilliant to say. I loved this book a lot. It's authentic Canadian pioneer days, gold rush stuff, and it's got the meter of Scottish drinking songs. I read quite a lot of it out loud -- couldn't help it, it begs to be sung if at all possible.

    Parts are paeans to how awesome men (sic) who are strong and adventurous enough to survive life in the Yukon are and how they don't want any weaklings or cripples. Other parts are about how the Yukon will kill you, no matter how awesome you think you are. Other parts are about kissing your sweetheart goodbye and going off into the mountains for the rest of your life and all the grief you feel over causing them pain, but you're just that kind of misfit guy.

    All the women are harlots or mothers...except there are like two mentions of actual wives, who are left. And there are several mentions of the ideal life with a wife and home. And there are several depictions of the Yukon itself as feminine, almost like an earth goddess -- wife and mother and lover all together.

    The other thing I noticed was the poem about living in a city of Men, except they all had a Siwash girl, who was (according to the white male speaker) wracked with guilt over betraying her people by whoring herself out in such a way. Makes me very, very curious about that bit of women's history and how long ago it was taking place, what with the Yukon gold rush being way more recent than the Spanish colonial gold rush of the 16th-18th centuries.

    Anyway, good poems, great window on history and culture, possibly great drinking songs for western Canadians. It probably helps to have been there, which I have, so I have no trouble imagining the scenery he's describing. It's truly awe-inspiring, and I love that he goes to the sublime, God-loving place with it so often. The land is stunning and deadly, and I can only imagine it before roads and dynamite, wandering with only a sled team and a campfire.

    It reminds me of my History of the American West course. I wish there'd been more Canada in it.

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Songs of a Sourdough - Robert W. Service




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.

Send me the best of your breeding, lend me your chosen ones;

Them will I take to my bosom, them will I call my sons;

Them will I gild with my treasure, them will I glut with my meat;

But the others—the misfits, the failures—I trample under my feet.

Dissolute, damned, and despairful, crippled and palsied and slain,

Ye would send me the spawn of your gutters—Go! take back your spawn again.

"Wild and wide are my borders, stern as death is my sway;

From my ruthless throne I have ruled alone for a million years and a day;

Hugging my mighty treasure, waiting for man to come:

Till he swept like a turbid torrent, and after him swept—the scum.

The pallid pimp of the dead-line, the enervate of the pen,

One by one I weeded them out, for all that I sought was—Men.

One by one I dismayed them, frighting them sore with my glooms;

One by one I betrayed them unto my manifold dooms.

Drowned them like rats in my rivers, starved them like curs on my plains,

Rotted the flesh that was left them, poisoned the blood in their veins;

Burst with my winter upon them, searing forever their sight,

Lashed them with fungus-white faces, whimpering wild in the night;

Staggering blind through the storm-whirl, stumbling mad through the snow,

Frozen stiff in the ice pack, brittle and bent like a bow;

Featureless, formless, forsaken, scented by wolves in their flight,

Left for the wind to make music through ribs that are glittering white;

Gnawing the black crust of failure, searching the pit of despair,

Crooking the toe in the trigger, trying to patter a prayer;

Going outside with an escort, raving with lips all afoam;

Writing a cheque for a million, drivelling feebly of home;

Lost like a louse in the burning . . . or else in tented town

Seeking a drunkard’s solace, sinking and sinking down;

Steeped in the slime at the bottom, dead to a decent world,

Lost ’mid the human flotsam, far on the frontier hurled;

In the camp at the bend of the river, with its dozen saloons aglare,

Its gambling dens a-riot, its gramophones all a-blare;

Crimped with the crimes of a city, sin-ridden and bridled with lies,

In the hush of my mountained vastness, in the flush of my midnight skies.

Plague-spots, yet tools of my purpose, so natheless I suffer them thrive,

Crushing my Weak in their clutches, that only my Strong may survive.

"But the others, the men of my mettle, the men who would ’stablish my fame,

Unto its ultimate issue, winning me honour, not shame;

Searching my uttermost valleys, fighting each step as they go,

Shooting the wrath of my rapids, scaling my ramparts of snow;

Ripping the guts of my mountains, looting the beds of my creeks,

Them will I take to my bosom, and speak as a mother speaks.

I am the land that listens, I am the land that broods;

Steeped in eternal beauty, crystalline waters and woods.

Long have I waited lonely, shunned as a thing accurst,

Monstrous, moody, pathetic, the last of the lands and the first;

Visioning camp-fires at twilight, sad with a longing forlorn,

Feeling my womb o’er-pregnant with the seed of cities unborn.

Wild and wide are my borders, stern as death is my sway,

And I wait for the men who will win me—and I will not be won in a day;

And I will not be won by weaklings, subtile, suave, and mild,

But by men with the hearts of vikings, and the simple faith of a child;

Desperate, strong, and resistless, unthrottled by fear or defeat,

Them will I gild with my treasure, them will I glut with my meat.

"Lofty I stand from each sister land, patient

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