"The Ballad of the Ice-Worm Cocktail" by Robert Service

Essay by stonerchildHigh School, 12th gradeB+, January 2007

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Robert Service was a very skilled author and poet. One of his most famous poems is The Ballad of the Ice-Worm Cocktail. First, I will present a brief biography on Robert Service, influences on his writing, a brief summary of the poem, the poetic devices used, the theme of the poem, and finally, my personal opinion of the poem.

Robert Service was born in Preston, Lancashire, England in 1876. He attended Hillhead High School in Glasgow, England and later completed his schooling at the University of Glasgow. At age 21, Service imigrated to Canada, and traveled up and down the Pacific slope, usually on freight trains. Service began to write 7 years later, and his first book was titled Songs of a Sourdough. Service published poetry throughout his life, and wrtoe an auto-biography titled Ploughman of the Moon in 1945. Service also worked as a reporter for the Toronto Star during World War I, and while stationed in France, fell in love with the country.

As a result, Service lived there for a major part of his life.

The poem, "The Ballad of the Ice-Worm Cocktail" is about a man named Major Percy Brown who moves to Dawson Town from London. Major Brown is a hunter, not very smart and extremely cocky. Skipper Grey and Deacon White (two men who live in Dawson Town) talk all about how cocky Brown is, and they decide he needs to be put in his place. They decide to prove rown isn't a true Sourdough later that night. So while everyone is at the Malmute Saloon drinking, partying, and having a good time, Percy enters and is welcomed by applause and cheering. Percy is told he is about to be made an official Sourdough and in order to become one, he must drink...