The Cremation of Sam McGee

It has been a long time since I read any poetry. My granddaughter, who has an English major mom, ended up in tears after reading “When I Am Dead My Dearest”.

Having not been successful in changing my daughter’s mind about sharing the sadder parts of Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Frost, I decided to put myself on a mission to re-engage myself with “fun” poems.

I have never been a lover of literature – choosing to read technical documents and biographies, so I Amazon-ordered some things that I thought would add to my granddaughter’s repertoire in a fun way. After all, if reading something doesn’t add value to your day – why read it?

The first of these was “The Cremation of Sam McGee”. A memory of having to memorize this poem in Grade 5 had initiated my first “find”.

My granddaughter listened attentively as I read this to her over bacon and eggs this morning. This poem was a lot longer than I remembered. It also contained some God references and the word “Hell”, but I muddled through. Until you become an over-protective grandma you never notice these things.

My young sprite did not react at all to that language and I could tell she enjoyed the rhythm of this rather up-beat reading. Yes, it had suffering and death enclosed in its lumbering language and consistently rhyming phrases, but, in the end it all came out OK.

We could all take a lesson from Robert Service and rise out of the ashes.

Thanks Sam.

2 responses to “The Cremation of Sam McGee

  1. I love this story!

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