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Songs of a Sourdough (Illustrated and Annotated)

Songs of a Sourdough (Illustrated and Annotated)

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Songs of a Sourdough (Illustrated and Annotated)

Длина:
112 страниц
50 минут
Издатель:
Издано:
20 февр. 2020 г.
ISBN:
9781393359692
Формат:

Описание

* Illustrated with sketches from Klondike gold rush photographs.

* Annotated with excerpts from a 1958 Pierre Burton interview of Robert W. Service, including Vanessa Grant's childhood memory of the interview. 

The Bard of the Yukon ~ Banker, Hobo, and Klondike Poet

Robert William Service was born in Lancashire, Engand in 1874. His mother was an heiress and his father a bank cashier. He was the eldest of 10 children.

When Service was 4 years old, he was sent to his grandfather and his 3 aunts in Scotland to live. He wrote his first poem two years later.

He was, it seemed, destined to be a poet and a wanderer.

In a 1958 CBC television interview, Canadian journalist Pierre Berton asked then 84 year old Robert Service why he had left Scotland and immigrated to Canada.

"I wanted freedom," said Service. "I wanted adventure. I got the idea, I want to be a hobo."

By the time the Klondike gold rush began, Robert Service was in San Francisco, carrying a hobo's bundle tied to his bindle stick. He used to stand in the street watching the gold prospectors marching off with their sacks, but he never dreamed of going himself.

"How could I?" asked Service. "I had no money."

Service wandered from California to British Columbia. He arrived in the Yukon in 1905 as a bank clerk and it was there where, surrounded by veterans of the  gold rush, he began writing verses about the Yukon.

His first book of verses, SONGS OF THE SOURDOUGH, was published to acclaim in 1907, and was reprinted 10 times within the first year. Before his death in 1958, he had published over 1,000 poems and 45 verse collections.

The 2-room cabin in Dawson City where Robert Service lived from 1908 until his departure from the Yukon in 1912 is maintained as a Klondike National Historic Site by Parks Canada in honor of the Bard of the Yukon.

Издатель:
Издано:
20 февр. 2020 г.
ISBN:
9781393359692
Формат:

Об авторе

Vanessa Grant began her literary career writing the column A Letter From Lucy Island Lighthouse for a small northern British Columbia newspaper. She has written over 30 romance novels, been translated into 15 languages, and sold over 10 million copies of her books worldwide. She has also taught writing workshops in Canada, the U.S.A., Australia, and New Zealand.  Vanessa's non-fiction book Writing Romance won the Under the Covers literary award and was described in a National Writer’s Monthly review as “by far the best writing book I have ever read." Vanessa can be found online at StorytellerAcademy.ca, VanessaGrant.ca, Facebook.com/vanessagrantauthor, and on Twitter as  @Vanessa_Grant


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Songs of a Sourdough (Illustrated and Annotated) - Vanessa Grant

Bard of the Yukon

Figure 1: Robert Service at the Dawson Cabin

ROBERT WILLIAM SERVICE was born in Lancashire, England in 1874. His mother was an heiress and his father a bank cashier. He was the eldest of 10 children. When Service was 4 years old, he was sent to his grandfather and his 3 aunts in Scotland to live. He wrote his first poem two years later.

God bless the cakes and bless the jam;

Bless the cheese and the cold boiled ham;

Bless the scones Aunt Jeannie makes,

And save us all from belly-aches. Amen

HE WAS, IT SEEMED, destined to be a poet and a wanderer. Although he worked in a bank after leaving school, he wanted more.

In a 1958 CBC television interview, Canadian journalist Pierre Berton asked then 84-year-old Robert Service why he left Scotland and immigrated to Canada.

I got tired of an indoor life, Service replied. I wanted the open spaces. I wanted freedom; I wanted adventure. I got the idea ... I want to be a hobo.

When Berton asked whether Service was a hobo in San Francisco when the Klondike gold rush began, the poet said, Oh, yes, because I used to stand in the street and watch the prospectors going off with their sacks and so on, but I never dreamed of going myself. I was just a bindle stick, as they say. How could I? I had no money.

Service wandered from California to British Columbia where he took an indoor job with the Canadian Bank of Commerce, working for a number of bank branches throughout British Columbia before arriving in the town of Whitehorse in the Yukon territory.

There, surrounded by veterans of the gold rush, he began writing verses.

When Pierre Burton asked Robert Service what inspired him to write his famous ballad, The Shooting of Dan McGrew, the poet replied:

"One of the church societies asked me to do a bit in a program, reciting one of my pieces. So I thought it over. I went on one of my long, lonely walks, and then I got to thinking, 'Well, you can write a bit. Why not do something original.'

"So the idea got into my head and I got back to Whitehorse and from one of the local saloons I heard signs of revelry, and the line just popped into my head:

A bunch of the boys were whooping it up...

"And there I got my start. I felt quite excited about it. I ate scarcely any supper and after my supper I went to my teller's cage and I started to write.

...I wrote on almost continuously through that ballad, and finished it round about 2 in the morning. I wrote it as it stands now. Scarcely a line has been changed. And finally, I went to bed. My job was finished.

WHEN BURTON ASKED ABOUT the church social, Service said, Oh, no! There's — the cuss words in it were something they wouldn't stand for.

Service went on to write ballad after ballad and in 1907 his first book of verses, Songs of a Sourdough, was published to acclaim, and was reprinted 10 times within the first year.

He became known as The Bard of the Yukon. Before his death in 1958, he published over 1,000 poems and 45 verse collections.

The 2-room cabin in Dawson City where Robert Service lived from 1908 until his departure from the Yukon in 1912 is maintained as a Klondike National Historic Site by Parks Canada in honor of the Bard of the Yukon.

1. The Law of the Yukon

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

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