Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Great Wednesday Compare #3- Pierre Berton VERSUS Hans Christian Andersen

The winner of last week's Great Wednesday Compare (Pierre Berton Vs. Robert W. Service) with a final score of 5-4 was Pierre Berton.

Actually, it came down to a tie, but for those of you who might be new to the Great Wednesday Compare, the rules state that I'm allowed to vote only on such an occasion, in effect breaking the tie.

I had to go with Berton. While I appreciate the Service standards, "The Cremation of Sam McGee" and "The Shooting of Dan McGrew," as well as a couple lesser known poems, "Unforgotten" and "The Ballad of the Black Fox Skin," I was less than impressed the first time I read an anthology of his works. Still, "Cremation" and "Dan McGrew" are such fine poems, it was hard not to vote for him purely on the strength of those. Interesting in the comments last week that people seem to have mixed reactions to having to recite "Cremation" in their school days. In some, it seemed to instill familiarity bordering on kinship with the poem, but in others in seemed to breed resentment. I didn't have to learn it by heart when I went to school, but my older sister did and my first exposure to it came from finding a handwritten copy while snooping through her closet. While I can't recite it all, I can easily tell you the first line, "There are strange things done, in the midnight sun..." Gets me every time.

I might also suggest getting Ted Harrison's illustrated copies of "The Cremation of Sam McGee" and "The Shooting of Dan McGrew." Had I been able to vote on a Harrison/Service coalition the outcome would have been much different.

This week, we have a non-Canadian contender (though I think he looks like John A. McDonald).

Remember, vote simply by adding your comment below, base it on whatever merit you choose, voting does not end until Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. (Dec. 30th, 2008), and if you want your author to get more votes, feel free to promote them here or on your blog!

Who's better?


Anonymous said...

Hi, John. I have awarded you a "Butterfly" for having a really cool blog, which I discovered through Poetry Friday and have been enjoying ever since.
Here's the scoop at Ink for Lit.
Have a great day!

Dale said...

Hans had more of an impact on my childhood so I'm going with him. I'd hate to be un-Christian at this time of year.

Anonymous said...

I'll vote for Hans only in hopes that I'll get to oust him by voting for Oscar Wilde next week.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Anderson DOES look like Sir John A, but I'm still going to have to vote for Berton.

Nikki in Niagara said...

Boy does he ever look like John A.

Based on pure reading enjoyment I'm choosing Anderson this time. I'd rather read fiction than non-fiction if push came to shove and I loved his tales as a kid,(still do! reading the Little Match Girl to my ds today in fact) plus I loved the Danny Kaye biography movie too.

Anonymous said...


Melwyk said...

Oh, Hans Christian Anderson, for sure. I love his melancholy fairy tales.