He was firstly mournful for the death of his friend. 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.”. However, William Samuel McGee was a road builder and indulged in prospecting later. Coal replaces gold in this version of the tale. But he went on, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low. Thereafter, the speaker says the men who moil for gold did those things at that time. The trail was bad and he felt half-mad. The arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold. However, there are a few variations in this poem. Moreover, the “Alice May” was based on the derelict “Olive May” that belonged to the Bennett Lake & Klondike Navigation Company. At last, the speaker says since he left Plumtree, in Tennessee, it was the first time he had been feeling so warm. "The Cremation of Sam McGee," however, is probably the most famous of all. 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.”. Talk of your cold! They fed their dogs before going to sleep. “And the dogs were fed, and the stars o’erhead, were dancing heel and toe” is an example of which sound device? In 1904, when Service was working in the Canadian Bank of Commerce branch in Whitehorse, he saw the name of William Samuel McGee on a form and used it in his poem. You can read about 10 of the Scariest Poems and 10 of the Best Gothic Poems here. The Cremation of Sam McGee Robert Service No preview available - 2020. ‘The Cremation of Sam McGee’ contains some important themes such as the lust for gold, human-greed, suffering, horror, and vanity of human desire. Your Name: Your Comment: Submit your comment Best Poems of Robert Service . Such a. , one of the famous poems of Robert Service, was published in 1907 in “Songs of a Sourdough”. The following stanzas of the poem discuss what happened with McGee while he was in search of gold on the Arctic trails. Here the speaker ironically pronounces the word “crematorium” according to its syllable division. “Yukon Territory Accidents and Deaths.” Canada, Parliament (1901). And before going out he asked the speaker not to refuse his last request. He was sick with dread but he bravely said that he would take a peep inside. Eventually, he died in the prospect of gold. However, he burrowed a hole in the glowing coal and stuffed Sam McGee inside the fire. – This is a simple, yet impactful poem that talks about what is important and what’s not in one’s life. However, in the following sections, it becomes clear what the “queerest thing” was mentioned in the prologue to the poem. Rather he dreaded the thoughts of the icy grave that pained him. Write your comment about The Cremation Of Sam Mcgee poem by Robert Service. This free poetry study guide will help you understand what you're reading. It was extremely cold out there. Not what you’d expect, but kind of a nice surprise. 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. Thereafter, in the twelfth stanza of the poem, the speaker says he does not know how long he wrestled with grisly fear in the snow. Ads are what helps us bring you premium content! There he found a derelict jammed in the ice, named “Alice May”. 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. While laying there, the speaker watched the stars overhead that were dancing heel and toe. Once, he cremated a corpse in the firebox of the steamer named “Olive May”. In the eleventh stanza of ‘The Cremation of Sam McGee’, the speaker says that after stuffing the body in the furnace he made a hike. Here, the poet depicts the scene as if the ambiance during the cremation was turned mournful. The Cremation of Sam McGee. The craze for gold drove the title character so mad that he forgot about the reality around him. 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. Read 4 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. contains some important themes such as the lust for gold, human-greed, suffering. There he found a derelict that was jammed in the ice. It seemed to the speaker as if the furnace roared. While Arthur Phelps recoiled from the “grotesque gruesomeness” of “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” he also claimed that the poem was “At the word “sizzle,” in stanza 12, the thaw of the poem begins.” “a folk tale of unquestioned natural vitality.” Phelps f… The poet uses a metaphor in the phrase, the “land of death”. Robert W. Service - 1874-1958. There are several literary devices in this poem. Join the conversation by. The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert Service, In this poem, Service presents the story of Sam McGee, an inhabitant of Tennessee, who died in the cold of the north pole. 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. "The Cremation of Sam McGee" is among the most famous of Robert W. Service's (1874–1958) poems. He asked him for his cap and said that he would cash in that trip anyhow. Cash's "The Cremation of Sam McGee" was released along with a vast collection of personal archive recordings of Johnny Cash on the two-disc album Personal File. The Cremation of Sam McGee The Cremation of Sam McGee (Robert W. Service) There are strange things done 'neath the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold. The Cremation of Sam McGee and Other Poems Robert Service No preview available - 1989. – This poem focuses on a man who wants to live his life among nature. Construct a written analysis of approximately 300 words about the poem “The Cremation of Sam McGee.” Your analysis should explain how the figurative language and literary devices contribute either to the meaning or to the narrative structure— plot, setting, characterization, and point of view—of the poem. There is a simile in the line, “but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell.” Moreover, the remark by McGee, “he’d sooner live in hell” is an example of a paradox. talks about a prospector, Sam McGee who froze to death and how his friend cremated his body on the marge of Lake Lebarge. He left the comforts of his home in search of gold in the North Pole. This essay is written by: Louis PHD Verified writer. Please log in again. Student Response In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load. When he looked at McGee he looked ghastly pale in the cold. Thereafter, the speaker says the men who moil for gold did those things at that time. He did not like to hear the sizzling sound made during the cremation of Sam McGee. It means each line consists of eight iambs. 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. (A "sourdough", in this sense, is a resident of the Yukon. At last, he came to the marge of Lake Lebarge. It seems as if nature was mourning the loss of Sam McGee. The Cremation Of Sam McGee. It seems the speaker tried to get rid of the decomposing body somehow. Explore The Cremation of Sam McGee1 Summary of The Cremation of Sam McGee2 Structure of The Cremation of Sam McGee3 Literary Devices in The Cremation of Sam McGee4 Themes in The Cremation of Sam McGee5 Analysis of The Cremation of Sam McGee6 Historical Context of The Cremation of Sam McGee7 Similar Poetry. 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.”. Here is a list of a few poems that are similar to Service’s. Moreover, the themes of greed and suffering are an integral part of the poem. In 1904, Service, who was working in the Canadian Bank of Commerce (the predecessor of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce) branch in Whitehorse, saw McGee's name on a form and used it in his poem as it was a rhyme for "Tennessee". McGee was so low spirited that the speaker could not say no. The Cremation of Sam McGee sung by Kirt Kempter. It was icy cold outside but the hot sweat rolled down the speaker’s cheeks. For this reason, he asked the speaker to cremate him. [16] Some believe Cash misreads the occasional word (such as "toil for gold" instead of "moil for gold") and accidentally transposes a few lines, but there are printed versions of the poem with "toil" used in place of "moil". Johnny Cash's reading of the poem was National Public Radio's song of the day on May 9, 2006. After reading the poem, readers can understand why the poet gives such a description at the beginning of the poem. It seems the speaker was feeling satisfied after seeing Sam in his calm and cold appearance. Thereafter, in the twelfth stanza of the poem, the speaker says he does not know how long he wrestled with grisly fear in the snow. He did however return with an urn that he had purchased in Whitehorse. 4.75 . He is not sure why he did so. This section portrays a mixed emotional state of the speaker’s mind. [14], In 1909 McGee traveled south of the Yukon to build roads, including some in Yellowstone National Park. However, the speaker says the Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make one’s blood run cold. Unfortunately, “before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.” It seems that after wandering in the North Pole for many days he lost hope in himself. 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.”. In this poem, Service presents the story of Sam McGee, an inhabitant of Tennessee, who died in the cold of the north pole. The description of the preparation of burning his friend’s body is no doubt horrific and disturbing. The grinning, frozen body is a creepy, awful companion for the speaker, but he can’t get rid of it, because of the promise that he made to Sam. Honors Degree in English Literature. There are strange things done in the midnight sun, The Arctic trails have their secret tales. It seems that the lust for gold made him realize that the direction chosen by him was leading him to hell. However, the trail to fulfill that promise was a stern code. Robert Service was living in the Yukon during the 1896 gold rush when the wrote “The Cremation Of Sam McGee” and the poem was published 1907. — The poem's opening and closing stanzas[5], Although the poem was fiction, it was based on people and things that Robert Service actually saw in the Yukon. Moreover, the ghost wore a smile and requested him to close that door. Be sure to use specific evidence to support your response. What lines support this? Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code. Weather The Cremation of Sam McGee. Came the cremation of Sam McGee But Sam wasn't from Tennessee Now the truth can be told McGee was a banker in fields of gold For it was to Yukon miners did rush Trekking, dog sleds, onward, "Mush" Now, Robert Service met Sam McGee "I'm writing a poem...need a name you see" And so it was that banker Sam Was immortalized throughout the land Now Sam's niece a true story told In conversation … But he swore he would not give in, no matter what happened with him. Whatsoever the speaker says at that time “heavens scowled and the huskies howled.” The wind began to blow swiftly. 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! And before going out he asked the speaker not to refuse his last request. After logging in you can close it and return to this page. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Cremation_of_Sam_McGee&oldid=994481131, Articles with dead external links from June 2020, Wikipedia articles needing factual verification from June 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 15 December 2020, at 22:56. The spell casts on its listeners are produced through the placement of the words Service chooses. As a significant part of Yukon heritage, these stories combine the legends of the Gold Rush, the splendor of the landscape and the artistic inspiration that only the land of the midnight sun can breed. That person becomes insane due to his greed. ; Gastmusiker: Johnny Cash lady who was cursed due to her greed in my heart I... 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