Friday, February 16, 2007

Poetry Friday--BRRRRrrrrrr!

Walking the dog in the pre-dawn below-zero windchill the last few weeks, I've felt a bit like Sam McGee in The Cremation of Sam McGee (by Robert Service):
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;
And like Sam, there are some mornings (like today) when I think I won't warm up unless I crawl right into the furnace. This is what the speaker in the poem witnesses when he finally has the nerve to see how it's going with Sam's cremation:
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."
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Links:
Robert Service reciting The Cremation of Sam McGee
Johnny Cash reciting The Cremation of Sam McGee
Spooky reading on YouTube

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