Service's poem "The Spell of the Yukon" is an excellent piece of literature. Service tells us of the contrast between the hardships of survival in the Yukon and the beauty of the arctic scenery. In nine stanzas, Service is able to tell us a wonderful story and convey different thematic messages. "The Spell of the Yukon" brings us into the world of the Yukon and shows us the beauty that exists inside its harsh reality.
Service writes this poem in a style similar to that of a resident of the Yukon in the time of the gold rush. Although some of his language is far from ordinary, the style in which he writes is very common. He does not hesitate to use coarse language, which also expresses a more time and location appropriate point of view.
"You come to get rich (damned good reason),.
You feel like an exile at first;.
You hate it like hell for a season,.
And then you are worse than the worst." .
Service's use of language helps us picture the Yukon through the eyes of someone who loves the area. The language brings a feeling of authenticity to the poem and helps us understand the thoughts of Service more clearly.
The story that the poem tells is of true love for the Yukon. Service begins by telling us that he spent most of his youth in the gold rush. After he returned home, he realized that, even with a new fortune, his old life lacked what he wanted.
"Yet somehow life's not what I thought it,.
And somehow the gold isn't all." (lines 7-8).
This quotation expresses the thought that our idea of the good life can change with time. What we enjoy now can - and will - change with time; the mind will readjust to certain circumstances. It also tells us that there is much more to life than money.
In the second stanza, we are told of the harshness of the Yukon and the people who believe that it is wasted land. .
"From the big, dizzy mountains that screen it,.
To the deep, deathlike valleys below.