Sunday, April 06, 2014

Poetry Sunday

For the second Poetry Sunday post, I've chosen a piece from one of my favorite poets, Robert W. Service, "The Bard of the Yukon," who wrote vivid descriptions of the Canadian north and the Klondike gold rush in poems like "The Shooting of Dan McGrew," and "The Ballad of Blasphemous Bill." His classic tall tale "The Cremation of Sam McGee" is a wonderful poem with a rhyme and cadence that lends itself to reading aloud ... it's one of my favorites to recite. Today's poem is typical of Service's work, telling the story of the sort of rugged individuals he watched and knew during his time in the frozen north.

The Men That Don't Fit In
by Robert W. Service

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.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they're always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.
They say: "Could I find my proper grove,
What a deep mark I would make!"
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life's been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;
He's a man who won't fit in.

I hope you enjoyed your weekly poetry fix, and that it ... fit in ... with your need for a little culture. Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



eViL pOp TaRt said...

I'm familiar with the "Cremation of Sam McGee," but this is one unfamiliar before. It has a catchy rhyme; but I don't know about its premise. Sometimes those men (and women) who don't quite fit in are simply advanced for their time.

I would love to visit the Yukon someday.

Duckbutt said...

Robert Service had great rhyme scemes. I used to ead "Sam McGee" to my daughter when she was preschool.

Banana Oil said...

A really nice poem. I enjoyed it.

Grand Crapaud said...

This poem aptly describes some I have known.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

A great poem.

Mike said...

I could live by myself in the Yukon. As long as I had an Internet connection.