Robert Service calls the Poetry Crisis Line, part 2

Read part 1 here


CALLER: Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee,

COUNSELOR: What part?

CALLER: where the cotton blooms and blows.


CALLER: Why he left his home in the South to roam ’round the Pole,

COUNSELOR: So he was a dancer?

CALLER: God only knows.

COUNSELOR: But you just said–

CALLER: He was always cold,

COUNSELOR: Was there visible shrinkage?

CALLER: but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;

COUNSELOR: So he made good tips?

CALLER: Though he’d often say in his homely way

COUNSELOR: Right. So was he a good dancer? If he was homely but still got good tips.

CALLER: that “he’d sooner live in hell.”

COUNSELOR: Exotic dancing isn’t for everyone. Sometimes people burn out quickly.

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