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The Cremation of Sam McGee

The Cremation of Sam McGee


by Robert Service

Analysis: Shout Outs

When poets refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Historical References

  • The Dawson Trail (line 13) – This was the path that ran along the Yukon River from the town of Whitehorse to the gold fields around Dawson City. That’s a distance of more than 300 miles – a long way to go in a dog sled. Lake Lebarge is right outside of Whitehorse, so these guys were probably traveling south on the trail.
  • Lake Lebarge (lines 7, 41, 67) – This is an actual lake in the Yukon, sometimes spelled Lake Laberge. It’s skinny, over 30 miles long, and sits right north of Whitehorse on the Yukon River.

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