Carl Sandburg

Blizzard Notes By Carl Sandburg

Blizzard Notes By Carl Sandburg

Blizzard Notes I DON’T blame the kettle drums-they are hungry. And the snare drums-I know what they want-they are empty too. And the harring booming bass drums-they are hungriest of all.. . . The howling spears of the Northwest die down. The lullabies of the Southwest get a chance, a mother so... »

A Teamster’s Farewell By Carl Sandburg

A Teamster’s Farewell By Carl Sandburg

A Teamster’s Farewell Sobs En Route to a Penitentiary Good-by now to the streets and the clash of wheels and locking hubs, The sun coming on the brass buckles and harness knobs. The muscles of the horses sliding under their heavy haunches, Good-by now to the traffic policeman and his whistle, ... »

Upstairs By Carl Sandburg

Upstairs By Carl Sandburg

Upstairs I too have a garret of old playthings. I have tin soldiers with broken arms upstairs. I have a wagon and the wheels gone upstairs. I have guns and a drum, a jumping-jack and a magic lantern. And dust is on them and I never look at them upstairs. I too have a garret of old playthings. Hits: ... »

The Walking Man Of Rodin By Carl Sandburg

The Walking Man Of Rodin By Carl Sandburg

The Walking Man Of Rodin Legs hold a torso away from the earth. And a regular high poem of legs is here. Powers of bone and cord raise a belly and lungs Out of ooze and over the loam where eyes look and ears hear And arms have a chance to hammer and shoot and run motors. You make us Proud of our leg... »

Stripes By Carl Sandburg

Stripes By Carl Sandburg

Stripes POLICEMAN in front of a bank 3 A.M. … lonely. Policeman State and Madison … high noon … mobs … cars … parcels … lonely. Woman in suburbs … keeping night watch on a sleeping typhoid patient … only a clock to talk to … lonesome. Woman selli... »

Rusty Crimson By Carl Sandburg

Rusty Crimson By Carl Sandburg

Rusty Crimson (Chirstmas Day, 1917)THE FIVE O’CLOCK prairie sunset is a strong man going to sleep after a long day in a cornfield. The red dust of a rusty crimson is fixed with two fingers of lavender. A hook of smoke, a woman’s nose in charcoal and … nothing. The timberline turns ... »

Pick Offs By Carl Sandburg

Pick Offs By Carl Sandburg

Pick Offs THE TELESCOPE picks off star dust on the clean steel sky and sends it to me. The telephone picks off my voice and sends it cross country a thousand miles. The eyes in my head pick off pages of Napoleon memoirs … a rag handler, a head of dreams walks in a sheet of mist … the pal... »

New Feet By Carl Sandburg

New Feet By Carl Sandburg

New Feet EMPTY battlefields keep their phantoms. Grass crawls over old gun wheels And a nodding Canada thistle flings a purple Into the summer’s southwest wind, Wrapping a root in the rust of a bayonet, Reaching a blossom in rust of shrapnel. Hits: 0 »

Localities By Carl Sandburg

Localities By Carl Sandburg

Localities Wagon wheel gap is a place I never saw And Red Horse Gulch and the chutes of Cripple Creek. Red-shirted miners picking in the sluices, Gamblers with red neckties in the night streets, The fly-by-night towns of Bull Frog and Skiddoo, The night-cool limestone white of Death Valley, The stra... »

Jack By Carl Sandburg

Jack By Carl Sandburg

Jack Jack was a swarthy, swaggering son-of-a-gun. He worked thirty years on the railroad, ten hours a day, and his hands were tougher than sole leather. He married a tough woman and they had eight children and the woman died and the children grew up and went away and wrote the old man every two year... »

Hats By Carl Sandburg

Hats By Carl Sandburg

Hats HATS, where do you belong? what is under you? On the rim of a skyscraper’s forehead I looked down and saw: hats: fifty thousand hats: Swarming with a noise of bees and sheep, cattle and waterfalls, Stopping with a silence of sea grass, a silence of prairie corn. Hats: tell me your high ho... »

Flanders By Carl Sandburg

Flanders By Carl Sandburg

Flanders Flanders, the name of a place, a country of people, Spells itself with letters, is written in books. “Where is Flanders?” was asked one time, Flanders known only to those who lived there And milked cows and made cheese and spoke the home language. “Where is Flanders?”... »

Crucible By Carl Sandburg

Crucible By Carl Sandburg

Crucible Hot gold runs a winding stream on the inside of a green bowl. Yellow trickles in a fan figure, scatters a line of skirmishes, spreads a chorus of dancing girls, performs blazing ochre evolutions, gathers the whole show into one stream, forgets the past and rolls on. The sea-mist green of th... »

Buffalo Bill By Carl Sandburg

Buffalo Bill By Carl Sandburg

Buffalo Bill BOY heart of Johnny Jones-aching to-day? Aching, and Buffalo Bill in town? Buffalo Bill and ponies, cowboys, Indians? Some of us know All about it, Johnny Jones. Buffalo Bill is a slanting look of the eyes, A slanting look under a hat on a horse. He sits on a horse and a passing look is... »

Aztec By Carl Sandburg

Aztec By Carl Sandburg

Aztec You came from the Aztecs With a copper on your fore-arms Tawnier than a sunset Saying good-by to an even river. And I said, you remember, Those fore-arms of yours Were finer than bronzes And you were glad. It was tears And a path west and a home-going when I asked Why there were scars of worn ... »

Work Gangs By Carl Sandburg

Work Gangs By Carl Sandburg

Work Gangs Box cars run by a mile long. And I wonder what they say to each other When they stop a mile long on a sidetrack. Maybe their chatter goes: I came from Fargo with a load of wheat up to the danger line. I came from Omaha with a load of shorthorns and they splintered my boards. I came from D... »

To Certain Journeymen By Carl Sandburg

To Certain Journeymen By Carl Sandburg

To Certain Journeymen Undertakers, hearse drivers, grave diggers, I speak to you as one not afraid of your business. You handle dust going to a long country, You know the secret behind your job is the same whether you lower the coffin with modern, automatic machinery, well-oiled and noiseless, or wh... »

The Noon Hour By Carl Sandburg

The Noon Hour By Carl Sandburg

The Noon Hour She sits in the dust at the walls And makes cigars, Bending at the bench With fingers wage-anxious, Changing her sweat for the day’s pay. Now the noon hour has come, And she leans with her bare arms On the window-sill over the river, Leans and feels at her throat Cool-moving things out... »

Smoke Rose Gold By Carl Sandburg

Smoke Rose Gold By Carl Sandburg

Smoke Rose Gold THE DOME of the capitol looks to the Potomac river. Out of haze over the sunset, Out of a smoke rose gold: One star shines over the sunset. Night takes the dome and the river, the sun and the smoke rose gold, The haze changes from sunset to star. The pour of a thin silver struggles a... »

Purple Martins By Carl Sandburg

Purple Martins By Carl Sandburg

Purple Martins IF we were such and so, the same as these, maybe we too would be slingers and sliders, tumbling half over in the water mirrors, tumbling half over at the horse heads of the sun, tumbling our purple numbers. Twirl on, you and your satin blue. Be water birds, be air birds. Be these purp... »

Pals By Carl Sandburg

Pals By Carl Sandburg

Pals Take a hold now On the silver handles here, Six silver handles, One for each of his old pals. Take hold And lift him down the stairs, Put him on the rollers Over the floor of the hearse. Take him on the last haul, To the cold straight house, The level even house, To the last house of all. The d... »

Mohammed Bek Hadjetlache By Carl Sandburg

Mohammed Bek Hadjetlache By Carl Sandburg

Mohammed Bek Hadjetlache THIS Mohammedan colonel from the Caucasus yells with his voice and wigwags with his arms. The interpreter translates, ‘I was a friend of Kornilov, he asks me what to do and I tell him.’ A stub of a man, this Mohammedan colonel … a projectile shape … a... »

Laughing Corn By Carl Sandburg

Laughing Corn By Carl Sandburg

Laughing Corn There was a high majestic fooling Day before yesterday in the yellow corn. And day after to-morrow in the yellow corn There will be high majestic fooling. The ears ripen in late summer And come on with a conquering laughter, Come on with a high and conquering laughter. The long-tailed ... »

Humming Bird Woman By Carl Sandburg

Humming Bird Woman By Carl Sandburg

Humming Bird Woman WHY should I be wondering How you would look in black velvet and yellow? in orange and green? I who cannot remember whether it was a dash of blue Or a whirr of red under your willow throat- Why do I wonder how you would look in humming-bird feathers? Hits: 0 »

Grieg Being Dead By Carl Sandburg

Grieg Being Dead By Carl Sandburg

Grieg Being Dead GRIEG being dead we may speak of him and his art. Grieg being dead we can talk about whether he was any good or not. Grieg being with Ibsen, Björnson, Lief Ericson and the rest, Grieg being dead does not care a hell’s hoot what we say. Morning, Spring, Anitra’s Dance, He... »

Evening Waterfall By Carl Sandburg

Evening Waterfall By Carl Sandburg

Evening Waterfall What is the name you called me?– And why did you go so soon? The crows lift their caws on the wind, And the wind changed and was lonely. The warblers cry thier sleepy-songs Across the valley gloaming, Across the cattle-horns of early stars. Feathers and people in the crotch o... »

Clark Street Bridge By Carl Sandburg

Clark Street Bridge By Carl Sandburg

Clark Street Bridge Dust of the feet And dust of the wheels, Wagons and people going, All day feet and wheels. Now. . . . . Only stars and mist A lonely policeman, Two cabaret dancers, Stars and mist again, No more feet or wheels, No more dust and wagons. Voices of dollars And drops of blood . . . .... »

Boy And Father By Carl Sandburg

Boy And Father By Carl Sandburg

Boy And Father THE BOY Alexander understands his father to be a famous lawyer. The leather law books of Alexander’s father fill a room like hay in a barn. Alexander has asked his father to let him build a house like bricklayers build, a house with walls and roofs made of big leather law books.... »

And They Obey By Carl Sandburg

And They Obey By Carl Sandburg

And They Obey Smash down the cities. Knock the walls to pieces. Break the factories and cathedrals, warehouses and homes Into loose piles of stone and lumber and black burnt wood: You are the soldiers and we command you. Build up the cities. Set up the walls again. Put together once more the factori... »

Whirls By Carl Sandburg

Whirls By Carl Sandburg

Whirls NEITHER rose leaves gathered in a jar-respectably in Boston-these-nor drops of Christ blood for a chalice-decently in Philadelphia or Baltimore. Cinders-these-hissing in a marl and lime of Chicago-also these-the howling of northwest winds across North and South Dakota-or the spatter of winter... »

Three Pieces On The Smoke Of Autumn By Carl Sandburg

Three Pieces On The Smoke Of Autumn By Carl Sandburg

Three Pieces On The Smoke Of Autumn SMOKE of autumn is on it all. The streamers loosen and travel. The red west is stopped with a gray haze. They fill the ash trees, they wrap the oaks, They make a long-tailed rider In the pocket of the first, the earliest evening star.. . . Three muskrats swim west... »

The Four Brothers By Carl Sandburg

The Four Brothers By Carl Sandburg

The Four Brothers MAKE war songs out of these; Make chants that repeat and weave. Make rhythms up to the ragtime chatter of the machine guns; Make slow-booming psalms up to the boom of the big guns. Make a marching song of swinging arms and swinging legs, Going along, Going along, On the roads from ... »

Shirt By Carl Sandburg

Shirt By Carl Sandburg

Shirt My shirt is a token and symbol, more than a cover for sun and rain, my shirt is a signal, and a teller of souls. I can take off my shirt and tear it, and so make a ripping razzly noise, and the people will say, “Look at him tear his shirt.” I can keep my shirt on. I can stick aroun... »

Portrait By Carl Sandburg

Portrait By Carl Sandburg

Portrait (For S. A.)TO write one book in five years or five books in one year, to be the painter and the thing painted, … where are we, bo? Wait-get his number. The barber shop handling is here and the tweeds, the cheviot, the Scotch Mist, and the flame orange scarf. Yet there is more-he sleep... »

Old Timers By Carl Sandburg

Old Timers By Carl Sandburg

Old Timers I am an ancient reluctant conscript. On the soup wagons of Xerxes I was a cleaner of pans. On the march of Miltiades’ phalanx I had a haft and head; I had a bristling gleaming spear-handle. Red-headed Cæsar picked me for a teamster. He said, “Go to work, you Tuscan bastard, Ro... »

Manual System By Carl Sandburg

Manual System By Carl Sandburg

Manual System Mary has a thingamajig clamped on her ears And sits all day taking plugs out and sticking plugs in. Flashes and flashes–voies and voices calling for ears to put words in Faces at the ends of wires asking for other faces at the ends of other wires: All day taking plugs out and sti... »

Jungheimer’s By Carl Sandburg

Jungheimer’s By Carl Sandburg

Jungheimer’s In western fields of corn and northern timber lands, They talk about me, a saloon with a soul, The soft red lights, the long curving bar, The leather seats and dim corners, Tall brass spittoons, a nigger cutting ham, And the painting of a woman half-dressed thrown reckless across ... »

Honky Tonk In Cleveland, Ohio By Carl Sandburg

Honky Tonk In Cleveland, Ohio By Carl Sandburg

Honky Tonk In Cleveland, Ohio It’s a jazz affair, drum crashes and coronet razzes. The trombone pony neighs and the tuba jackass snorts. The banjo tickles and titters too awful. The chippies talk about the funnies in the papers. The cartoonists weep in their beer. Shop riveters talk with their... »

Galoots By Carl Sandburg

Galoots By Carl Sandburg

Galoots GALOOTS, you hairy, hankering, Snousle on the bones you eat, chew at the gristle and lick the last of it. Grab off the bones in the paws of other galoots-hook your claws in their sleazy mouths-snap and run. If long-necks sit on their rumps and sing wild cries to the winter moon, chasing thei... »

Dogheads By Carl Sandburg

Dogheads By Carl Sandburg

Dogheads AMONG the grassroots In the moonlight, who comes circling, red tongues and high noses? Is one of ’em Buck and one of ’em White Fang? In the moonlight, who are they, cross-legged, telling their stories over and over? Is one of ’em Martin Eden and one of ’em Larsen the... »

Chicago Poet By Carl Sandburg

Chicago Poet By Carl Sandburg

Chicago Poet I saluted a nobody. I saw him in a looking-glass. He smiled–so did I. He crumpled the skin on his forehead, frowning–so did I. Everything I did he did. I said, “Hello, I know you.” And I was a liar to say so. Ah, this. looking-glass man! Liar, fool, dreamer, play... »

Between Two Hills By Carl Sandburg

Between Two Hills By Carl Sandburg

Between Two Hills Between two hills The old town stands. The houses loom And the roofs and trees And the dusk and the dark, The damp and the dew Are there. The prayers are said And the people rest For sleep is there And the touch of dreams Is over all. Hits: 0 »

A Tall Man By Carl Sandburg

A Tall Man By Carl Sandburg

A Tall Man The mouth of this man is a gaunt strong mouth. The head of this man is a gaunt strong head. The jaws of this man are bone of the Rocky Mountains, the Appalachians. The eyes of this man are chlorine of two sobbing oceans, Foam, salt, green, wind, the changing unknown. The neck of this man ... »

Under By Carl Sandburg

Under By Carl Sandburg

Under I I am the undertow Washing tides of power Battering the pillars Under your things of high law. II I am a sleepless Slowfaring eater, Maker of rust and rot In your bastioned fastenings, Caissons deep. III I am the Law Older than you And your builders proud. I am deaf In all days Whether you Sa... »

The South Wind Say So By Carl Sandburg

The South Wind Say So By Carl Sandburg

The South Wind Say So IF the oriole calls like last year when the south wind sings in the oats, if the leaves climb and climb on a bean pole saying over a song learnt from the south wind, if the crickets send up the same old lessons found when the south wind keeps on coming, we will get by, we will ... »

Style By Carl Sandburg

Style By Carl Sandburg

Style Style–go ahead talking about style. You can tell where a man gets his style just as you can tell where Pavlowa got her legs or Ty Cobb his batting eye. Go on talking. Only don’t take my style away. It’s my face. Maybe no good but anyway, my face. I talk with it, I sing with i... »

Repetitions By Carl Sandburg

Repetitions By Carl Sandburg

Repetitions THEY are crying salt tears Over the beautiful beloved body Of Inez Milholland, Because they are glad she lived, Because she loved open-armed, Throwing love for a cheap thing Belonging to everybody- Cheap as sunlight, And morning air. Hits: 0 »

Personality By Carl Sandburg

Personality By Carl Sandburg

Personality Musings of a Police Reporter in the Identification Bureau You have loved forty women, but you have only one thumb. You have led a hundred secret lives, but you mark only one thumb. You go round the world and fight in a thousand wars and win all the world’s honors, but when you come... »

New Farm Tractor By Carl Sandburg

New Farm Tractor By Carl Sandburg

New Farm Tractor The rear axles hold the kick of twenty Missouri jackasses. It is in the records of the patent office and the ads there is twenty horse power pull here. The farm boy says hello to you instead of twenty mules-he sings to you instead of ten span of mules. A bucket of oil and a can of g... »

Loin Cloth By Carl Sandburg

Loin Cloth By Carl Sandburg

Loin Cloth BODY of Jesus taken down from the cross Carved in ivory by a lover of Christ, It is a child’s handful you are here, The breadth of a man’s finger, And this ivory loin cloth Speaks an interspersal in the day’s work, The carver’s prayer and whim And Christ-love. Hits... »

Iron By Carl Sandburg

Iron By Carl Sandburg

Iron Guns, Long, steel guns, Pointed from the war ships In the name of the war god. Straight, shining, polished guns, Clambered over with jackies in white blouses, Glory of tan faces, tousled hair, white teeth, Laughing lithe jackies in white blouses, Sitting on the guns singing war songs, war chant... »

Hate By Carl Sandburg

Hate By Carl Sandburg

Hate ONE man killed another. The saying between them had been ‘I’d give you the shirt off my back.’ The killer wept over the dead. The dead if he looks back knows the killer was sorry. It was a shot in one second of hate out of ten years of love. Why is the sun a red ball in the si... »

Fire-Logs By Carl Sandburg

Fire-Logs By Carl Sandburg

Fire-Logs Nancy Hanks dreams by the fire; Dreams, and the logs sputter, And the yellow tongues climb. Red lines lick their way in flickers. Oh, sputter, logs. Oh, dream, Nancy. Time now for a beautiful child. Time now for a tall man to come. Hits: 0 »

Cripple By Carl Sandburg

Cripple By Carl Sandburg

Cripple Once when I saw a cripple Gasping slowly his last days with the white plague, Looking from hollow eyes, calling for air, Desperately gesturing with wasted hands In the dark and dust of a house down in a slum, I said to myself I would rather have been a tall sunflower Living in a country gard... »

Buckwheat By Carl Sandburg

Buckwheat By Carl Sandburg

Buckwheat THERE was a late autumn cricket, And two smoldering mountain sunsets Under the valley roads of her eyes. There was a late autumn cricket, A hangover of summer song, Scraping a tune Of the late night clocks of summer, In the late winter night fireglow, This in a circle of black velvet at he... »

Aztec Mask By Carl Sandburg

Aztec Mask By Carl Sandburg

Aztec Mask I wanted a man’s face looking into the jaws and throat of life With something proud on his face, so proud no smash of the jaws, No gulp of the throat leaves the face in the end With anything else than the old proud look: Even to the finish, dumped in the dust, Lost among the used-up cinde... »

Woman With A Past By Carl Sandburg

Woman With A Past By Carl Sandburg

Woman With A Past There was a woman tore off a red velvet gown And slashed the white skin of her right shoulder And a crimson zigzag wrote a finger nail hurry. There was a woman spoke six short words And quit a life that was old to her For a life that was new. There was a woman swore an oath And gav... »

To A Contemporary Bunkshooter By Carl Sandburg

To A Contemporary Bunkshooter By Carl Sandburg

To A Contemporary Bunkshooter You come along. . . tearing your shirt. . . yelling about Jesus. Where do you get that stuff? What do you know about Jesus? Jesus had a way of talking soft and outside of a few bankers and higher-ups among the con men of Jerusalem everybody liked to have this Jesus arou... »

The Mist By Carl Sandburg

The Mist By Carl Sandburg

The Mist I am the mist, the impalpable mist, Back of the thing you seek. My arms are long, Long as the reach of time and space. Some toil and toil, believing, Looking now and again on my face, Catching a vital, olden glory. But no one passes me, I tangle and snare them all. I am the cause of the Sph... »

Smoke And Steel By Carl Sandburg

Smoke And Steel By Carl Sandburg

Smoke And Steel SMOKE of the fields in spring is one, Smoke of the leaves in autumn another. Smoke of a steel-mill roof or a battleship funnel, They all go up in a line with a smokestack, Or they twist … in the slow twist … of the wind. If the north wind comes they run to the south. If the west wind... »