Tuesday, January 1, 2008


The Cremation of Sam McGee

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
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

This is the beginning and the end of the poem by Robert W. Service. I used to read it to my class every year. Service's poetry is wonderful when read aloud. But the reason I remember it tonight is that it is so cold outside. Not that it won't get colder but I don't like the cold. If you click on the title or the picture above you can read the entire poem. But the part I am reminded of is when the narrator gets up enough nerve to check in on Sam and he writes:

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.”

I always empathize with Sam this time of year. I hate the cold weather and I know I could move. Maybe I will.

Stay warm. Hugs, j-bear.

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