Robert Service

The Albertville Public Library has 4 books of poetry by Robert Service (a writer of light verse), making a pretty substantial collection. They include: Ballads of a Bohemian, Songs of a Sourdough, Collected Poems, and More Collected Verse. The one with the best circulation (checked out 22 times) is Collected Poems (containing earlier poems) and it’s showing the wear, though it’s still holding up with the help of tape. More Collected Verse perhaps looks too intimidating for the average poetry reader at over 900 pages and has gotten half the circulation of its predecessor. Songs of a Sourdough is old and has only been checked out twice but has some of Service’s most famous poems in it. All of these books have been checked out within the last decade. I say keep them all and discard as necessary due to condition as the years march on. At present, they work nicely together. Eventually, they could all be let go and replaced with a selected volume. There’s no reason to have everything Service ever wrote, or even the majority of it. However, he was a very popular poet, and it’s nice to have something of his work on a library’s shelves.


About jppoetryreader

Poetry reviewer and poetry consultant for libraries
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