In honor of poet Robert W. Service’s birthday this month, I am offering Aunt Phil’s Trunk Proudly Presents The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses as an eBook for the very first time – and it’s only $1.99!
I’m also starting a new Facebook group titled This Week in Alaska History. Every week I will post about something that happened during Alaska’s past that week, and we can have spirited conversations and debates. I’m so excited about this new group and hope you will join in the fun! Next week’s topic with be Robert Service and his poetry.
The famous Bard of the Yukon entered the world on Jan. 16, 1874, in Preston, England. In the first decade of the 20th century he lived in Dawson, Yukon Territory, and inked many popular poems telling of the wonder, beauty, and harshness of the Far North. He is pictured here at his cabin during the early 1900s.
The man who eventually penned classics like “The Spell of the Yukon,” “The Cremation of Sam McGee” and “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” arrived in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1895. Nine years later, at 30, he made his way to Whitehorse and Dawson.
Although his life in the New World was spent mostly in Canada, Alaskans adopted the poet of the Yukon, too. For surely no one before or since has better interpreted the vastness, power, beauty and cruelty of the North and the character of those rugged individuals who lived during the Klondike Gold Rush era.
“There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
A race that can’t stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will. …”
These first lines of his poem “The Men That Don’t Fit In” sum up part of what he learned of those who came north.
To learn more about Robert Service, and read Aunt Phil’s reproduction of his first book of poetry, order your copy of Aunt Phil’s Trunk Proudly Presents The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses now!
Happy birthday to Robert W. Service!