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Carl Sandburg

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Chicago by Carl Sandburg; an analysis of his poem

Carl Sandburg is a rousing piece of writing about the lives of people in Chicago and about the city as a whole. In 1894, Carl Sandburg father, a laborer in the railroad yards of a small Illinois prairie town, secured a pass for his son to see Chicago. The enormous vitality of the city, as…

Who Am I?

My head knocks against the stars.My feet are on the hilltops.My finger-tips are in the valleys and shores of     universal life.Down in the sounding foam of primal things I     reach my hands and play with pebbles of     destiny.I have been to hell and back many times.I know all about heaven, for I have talked with…

Nigger

I am the nigger.Singer of songs,Dancer…Softer than fluff of cotton…Harder than dark earthRoads beaten in the sunBy the bare feet of slaves…Foam of teeth… breaking crash of laughter…Red love of the blood of woman,White love of the tumbling pickaninnies…Lazy love of the banjo thrum…Sweated and driven for the harvest-wage,Loud laughter with hands like hams,Fists toughened…

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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 back;;;; home the…

Offering and Rebuff

I could love youas dry roots love rain.I could hold youas branches in the windbrandish petals.Forgive me for speaking so soon.     Let your heart look    on white sea spray    and be lonely.     Love is a fool star.     You and a ring of stars    may mention my name    and then forget me.     Love is a fool star.

Singing Nigger

YOUR bony head, Jazbo, O dock walloper,Those grappling hooks, those wheelbarrow handlers,The dome and the wings of you, nigger,The red roof and the door of you,I know where your songs came from.I know why God listens to your, “Walk All Over God’s Heaven.”I heard you shooting craps, “My baby’s going to have a new dress.”I…

Weeds

FROM the time of the early radishesTo the time of the standing cornSleepy Henry Hackerman hoes.  There are laws in the village against weeds.The law says a weed is wrong and shall be killed.The weeds say life is a white and lovely thingAnd the weeds come on and on in irrepressible regiments.Sleepy Henry Hackerman hoes; and…

Hydrangeas

Dragoons, I tell you the white hydrangeas     turn rust and go soon.Already mid September a line of brown runs     over them.One sunset after another tracks the faces, the     petals.Waiting, they look over the fence for what     way they go.

Wind Song

LONG ago I learned how to sleep,In an old apple orchard where the wind swept by counting its money and throwing it away,In a wind-gaunt orchard where the limbs forked out and listened or never listened at all,In a passel of trees where the branches trapped the wind into whistling, “Who, who are you?”I slept…

Elephants Are Different to Different People

Wilson and Pilcer and Snack stood before the zoo elephant.      Wilson said, “What is its name? Is it from Asia or Africa? Who feedsit? Is it a he or a she? How old is it? Do they have twins? How much doesit cost to feed? How much does it weigh? If it dies, how…

Lawyer

WHEN the jury files in to deliver a verdict after weeks of direct and cross examinations, hot clashes of lawyers and cool decisions of the judge,There are points of high silence-twiddling of thumbs is at an end-bailiffs near cuspidors take fresh chews of tobacco and wait-and the clock has a chance for its ticking to…

Home Thoughts

THE SEA rocks have a green moss.The pine rocks have red berries.I have memories of you.  Speak to me of how you miss me.Tell me the hours go long and slow.  Speak to me of the drag on your heart,The iron drag of the long days.  I know hours empty as a beggar’s tin cup on a rainy…

Government

THE Government–I heard about the Government andI went out to find it. I said I would look closely atit when I saw it.Then I saw a policeman dragging a drunken man tothe callaboose. It was the Government in action.I saw a ward alderman slip into an office one morningand talk with a judge. Later in…

Buffalo Dusk

THE BUFFALOES are gone.And those who saw the buffaloes are gone.Those who saw the buffaloes by thousands and how they pawed the prairie sod into dust with their hoofs, their great heads down pawing on in a great pageant of dusk,Those who saw the buffaloes are gone.And the buffaloes are gone.

Window

Night from a railroad car windowIs a great, dark, soft thingBroken across with slashes of light.

Red-headed Restaurant Cashier

SHAKE back your hair, O red-headed girl.Let go your laughter and keep your two proud freckles on your chin.Somewhere is a man looking for a red-headed girl and some day maybe he will look into your eyes for a restaurant cashier and find a lover, maybe.Around and around go ten thousand men hunting a red…

Night Movement-New York

IN the night, when the sea-winds take the city in their arms,And cool the loud streets that kept their dust noon and afternoon;In the night, when the sea-birds call to the lights of the city,The lights that cut on the skyline their name of a city;In the night, when the trains and wagons start from…

Bricklayer Love

I thought of killing myself because I am only a bricklayer      and you a woman who loves the man who runs a drug store. I don’t care like I used to; I lay bricks straighter than I;;;;;;used to and I sing slower handling the trowel afternoons. When the sun is in my eyes and the ladders…

Wilderness

THERE is a wolf in me … fangs pointed for tearing gashes … a red tongue for raw meat … and the hot lapping of blood-I keep this wolf because the wilderness gave it to me and the wilderness will not let it go. There is a fox in me … a silver-gray fox ……

Alley Rats

THEY were calling certain styles of whiskers by the name of “lilacs.”And another manner of beard assumed in their chatter a verbal guiseOf “mutton chops,” “galways,” “feather dusters.”  Metaphors such as these sprang from their lips while other street criesSprang from sparrows finding scattered oats among interstices of the curb.Ah-hah these metaphors-and Ah-hah these boys-among the…

The Hangman at Home

WHAT does the hangman think aboutWhen he goes home at night from work?When he sits down with his wife andChildren for a cup of coffee and aPlate of ham and eggs, do they askHim if it was a good day’s workAnd everything went well or do theyStay off some topics and talk aboutThe weather, base…

Street Window

THE PAWN-SHOP man knows hunger,And how far hunger has eaten the heartOf one who comes with an old keepsake.Here are wedding rings and baby bracelets,Scarf pins and shoe buckles, jeweled garters,Old-fashioned knives with inlaid handles,Watches of old gold and silver,Old coins worn with finger-marks.They tell stories.

Early Moon

THE BABY moon, a canoe, a silver papoose canoe, sails and sails in the Indian west.A ring of silver foxes, a mist of silver foxes, sit and sit around the Indian moon.One yellow star for a runner, and rows of blue stars for more runners, keep a line of watchers.O foxes, baby moon, runners, you…

Honky Tonk in Cleveland, Ohio

IT’S a jazz affair, drum crashes and cornet razzesThe 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.;;Ship riveters talk with their feet;;To the feet of floozies under the tables.A quartet of white hopes mourn with interspersed…

They All Want to Play Hamlet

THEY all want to play Hamlet.They have not exactly seen their fathers killedNor their mothers in a frame-up to kill,Nor an Ophelia dying with a dust gagging the heart,Not exactly the spinning circles of singing golden spiders,Not exactly this have they got at nor the meaning of flowers-O flowers, flowers slung by a dancing girl-in…

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