Robert Service - Life Stories, Books, and Links
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Picture of Robert Service, poet Bard of the Yukon; Canadian Literature and poetry
Robert Service   (1874 - 1958)
Category:  Canadian Literature
Born:  January 16, 1874
Preston, Lancashire, England
Died:  September 11, 1958
Lancieux, France
Related authors:
Jack London
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Robert Service - LIFE STORIES
1/16/1874     Robert Service's Yukon Gold
On this day in 1874 Robert Service -- "the Kipling of Canada" -- was born in Preston, England. When he was twenty-one, Service quit his bank job in Glasgow and emigrated to Canada; his three winters in White Horse were the "incubation of all worth while in my life" -- daily snowshoes into "the Great White Silence" breathing "below-zero air as bracing as champagne" and composing millionaire-making poems.
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Collected Poems of Robert Service
anthology, poetry
Ploughman of the Moon
Spell of the Yukon
The Best of Robert Service
anthology, poetry
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No books are presently listed for Robert Service in this category. Please contact us if you have a suggestion.
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Art Damage
Read a biography of the poet, which includes details about the composition of "The Shooting of Dan McGrew." Also offers collections of poetry including Ballads of a Bohemian (1921), Ballads of a Cheechako, The Rhymes of a Red-cross Man (1916), Rhymes of a Rolling Stone (1912), The Spell of the Yukon and other Verses.

"During his wanderings Service had spent much time reading and dreaming and one day he was invited to recite at a church concert. A friend of his suggested that Service write something about the Yukon. He was inspired, as he tells it, by his surroundings. 'It was Saturday night, and from the various bars I heard sounds of revelry. The line popped into my mind: ''A bunch of boys were whooping it up'' and it stuck there. Good enough for a start.' Desiring a quiet place to work he went to his bank where the startled bank guard fired a shot at him the event which led Service's mind toward the idea of a shooting and, 'The Shooting of Dan McGrew' was born."
Article: "Robert Service and Destiny"
Yukoner Magazine presents a lengthy article about the life and works of Robert Service.

"Dawson City was the capital of the Yukon then; but Whitehorse, by virtue of its location at the end of the White Pass & Yukon Railway and the start of navigation on the Yukon River, was truly a place where all Yukoners met. For the next two years Robert socialized--although he was very shy and awkward--and listened to tales of adventure and hardship. He enjoyed walking alone over the trails leading to Miles Canyon and other scenic spots. He 'felt poetry all around him' and, with verses ringing in his mind, it was only a matter of time until he set them down on paper."
The Charmed Life of Robert Service
Read a detailed biography about how Service, hailing from Scotland, came to become the Bard of Canada. With photographs, a commentary on what inspired his poetry, and a consideration of the poet's enduring legacy.

"To millions of ordinary people who would never read a line by the likes of Carman, Service was Canada's national poet, just as Robert Burns was Scotland's national poet. He filled that role by giving Canadians an ennobling sense of themselves, making them feel like intrepid individualists capable of standing up to the challenges of the wilderness that defined their great Dominion. With a book by Service in their laps, chair-bound Torontonians or Haligonians could picture themselves shooting the rapids or, rifle in hand, tracking a four-pronged buck through a rugged valley. Like true Canucks, they could 'long for a whiff of bacon and beans, a snug shakedown in the snow.'"
The Official Website
A "library" section of the website offers biographies, a chronology of events in the poet's life, a bibliography, audio recordings of poetry readings by Service and others, and a glossary of language, people, and places which appear in the writer's poetry. electronic texts include Carols of an Old Codger (1954), Lyrics of a Low Brow (1951), Rhymes for My Rags (1956), and Songs for My Supper (1953).
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February 21, 2018
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