8
   

Who is the most prolific American poet?

 
 
The Anointed
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2021 06:28 am
@edgarblythe,
Robert William Service was a British-Canadian poet and writer, often called "the Bard of the Yukon". Although born in Lancashire of Scottish descent, he spent long periods travelling in the Western United States and Canada. And although he was not an American, I believe that he was the best poet who was ever in America.

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 his homely way that "he'd sooner live in hell."

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we'd close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn't see;
It wasn't much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o'erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and "Cap," says he, "I'll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I'm asking that you won't refuse my last request."

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn't say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
"It's the cursèd cold, and it's got right hold till I'm chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet 'tain't being dead—it's my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you'll cremate my last remains."

A pal's last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

There wasn't a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn't get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: "You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it's up to you to cremate those last remains."

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows— O God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I'd often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the "Alice May."
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then "Here," said I, with a sudden cry, "is my cre-ma-tor-eum."

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared—such a blaze you seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

Then I made a hike, for I didn't like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don't know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: "I'll just take a peep inside.
I guess he's cooked, and it's time I looked"; ... then the door I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: "Please close that door.
It's fine in here, but I greatly fear you'll let in the cold and storm—
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it's the first time I've been warm."

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.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2021 06:39 am
That's like giving Dickens credit as the best writer in America, just because he spent time here.
The Anointed
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2021 07:00 am
@edgarblythe,
Others would have noticed that I did not say that Robert Service was the best or most prolific American poet, but rather, that Robert Service was the best poet who was ever in America.

But you have an excuse for not comprehending that, don't you?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2021 07:03 am
@The Anointed,
You are so quick to fault my posts that you didn't realize I didn't accuse you of saying that.
The Anointed
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2021 08:33 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
You are so quick to fault my posts that you didn't realize I didn't accuse you of saying that.


The Topic of this thread is "Who is The Most Prolific American Poet."

I went on to state that although Robert Service, was not an American poet, he was according to my belief, the best poet that was ever in American.

To which you responded; "That's like giving Dickens credit as the best writer in America, just because he spent time here."

Which sounded to me, a little sarcastic, and so, I apologise if that was not your intent, and have been offended by my response.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2021 09:04 pm
@The Anointed,
These threads are meant for fun. No need to get testy.
The Anointed
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2021 09:16 pm
@edgarblythe,
I'm not getting testy mate, the reason I apologised was because I believed that you were getting testy
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2021 09:20 pm
@The Anointed,
That's because I saw you as being testy.
The Anointed
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2021 09:40 pm
@edgarblythe,
I really, cannot think for one moment how you could see my post on Robert Service, and his poem, "The Cremation of Sam Mc Gee", as my being testy. But then, we are individuals, and I cannot see through your eyes.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2021 09:46 pm
@The Anointed,
I meant your follow-up post. I've always liked the Sam McGee poem and enjoyed seeing it again. We are cool as far as I am concerned.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Aug, 2021 05:35 am
@edgarblythe,
Annointed has never heard of Alexander Pope.

That’s how much he knows about poetry.
0 Replies
 
Lady Lingiton
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2021 12:06 am
What a load of 'testy's.

Dickinson.
0 Replies
 
 

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