Carl Sandburg Poems

  • 201.  
    LAST night a January wind was ripping at the shingles
    over our house and whistling a wolf song under the eaves.
  • 202.  
    I WILL keep you and bring hands to hold you against a great hunger.
    I will run a spear in you for a great gladness to die with.I will stab you between the ribs of the left side with a great love worth remembering.
  • 203.  
    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 bald head hammered ...
  • 204.  
    COUNT these reminiscences like money.
    The Greeks had their picnics under another name.The Romans wore glad rags and told their neighbors, 'What of it? '
  • 205.  
    THE DOWN drop of the blackbird,
    The wing catch of arrested flight,The stop midway and then off: off for triangles, circles, loops of new hieroglyphs-
  • 206.  
    THE SIX month child
    Fresh from the tubWriggles in our hands.
  • 207.  
    IN a jeweler's shop I saw a man beating
    out thin sheets of gold. I heard a womanlaugh many years ago.
  • 208.  
    Tall timber stood here once, hee on a corn belt farm along the Monon.
    Here the roots of a half-mile of trees dug their runners deep in the loam for a grip and a hold against wind storms. Then the axemen came and the chips flew to the zing of steel and handle--the lank railsplitters cut the big ones first, the beeches and the oaks, then the brush.
  • 209.  
    LIPS half-willing in a doorway.
    Lips half-singing at a window.Eyes half-dreaming in the walls.
  • 210.  
    I SAW Man, the man-hunter,
    Hunting with a torch in one handAnd a kerosene can in the other,
  • 211.  
    LEAVES of poplars pick Japanese prints against the west.
    Moon sand on the canal doubles the changing pictures. The moon's good-by ends pictures.
  • 212.  
    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.
  • 213.  
    THROW roses on the sea where the dead went down.
    The roses speak to the sea, And the sea to the dead.
  • 214.  
    There is something terrible
    about a hurdy-gurdy,a gipsy man and woman,
  • 215.  
    SELL me a violin, mister, of old mysterious wood.
    Sell me a fiddle that has kissed dark nights on the forehead where men kiss sisters they love.Sell me dried wood that has ached with passion clutching the knees and arms of a storm.
  • 216.  
    BY day ... tireless smokestacks ... hungry smoky shanties hanging to the slopes ... crooning: We get by, that's all.
    By night ... all lit up ... fire-gold bars, fire-gold flues ... and the shanties shaking in clumsy shadows ... almost the hills shaking ... all crooning: By God, we're going to find out or know why.
  • 217.  
    SOMEBODY'S little girl-how easy to make a sob story over who she was once and who she is now.
    Somebody's little girl-she played once under a crab-apple tree in June and the blossoms fell on the dark hair.
  • 218.  
    I AM making a Cartoon of a Woman. She is the People.
    She is the Great Dirty Mother.And Many Children hang on her Apron, crawl at her
  • 219.  
    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 spray on sea rocks of Kamchatka.
  • 220.  
    THE WISHES on this child's mouth
    Came like snow on marsh cranberries;The tamarack kept something for her;
  • 221.  
    JOY ... weaving two violet petals for a coat lapel ... painting on a slab of night sky a Christ face ... slipping new brass keys into rusty iron locks and shouldering till at last the door gives and we are in a new room ... forever and ever violet petals, slabs, the Christ face, brass keys and new rooms.
    are we near or far?... is there anything else?... who comes back?... and why does love ask nothing and give all? and why is love rare as a tailed comet shaking guesses out of men at telescopes ten feet long? why does the mystery sit with its chin on the lean forearm of women in gray eyes and women in hazel eyes?
  • 222.  
    THE SEA rocks have a green moss.
    The pine rocks have red berries.I have memories of you.
  • 223.  
    THE SHALE and water thrown together so-so first of all,
    Then a potter's hand on the wheel and his fingers shaping the jug; out of the mud a mouth and a handle;Slimpsy, loose and ready to fall at a touch, fire plays on it, slow fire coaxing all the water out of the shale mix.
  • 224.  
    HOW many feet ran with sunlight, water, and air?

  • 225.  
    THIS is the song I rested with:
    The right shoulder of a strong man I leaned on.The face of the rain that drizzled on the short neck of a canal boat.
  • 226.  
    SOMEBODY loses whenever somebody wins.
    This was known to the Chaldeans long ago.And more: somebody wins whenever somebody loses.
  • 227.  
    THE TIME has gone by.
    The child is dead.The child was never even born.
  • 228.  
    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
  • 229.  
    They were calling certain styles of whiskers by the name of â??lilacs.â?
    And another manner of beard assumed in their chatter a verbal guiseOf â??mutton chops,â? â??galways,â? â??feather dusters.â?
  • 230.  
    The sea-wash never ends.
    The sea-wash repeats, repeats. Only old songs? Is that all the sea knows?
  • 231.  
    FIRST I would like to write for you a poem to be shouted in the teeth of a strong wind.
    Next I would like to write one for you to sit on a hill and read down the river valley on a late summer afternoon, reading it in less than a whisper to Jack on his soft wire legs learning to stand up and preach, Jack-in-the-pulpit.As many poems as I have written to the moon and the streaming of the moon spinners of light, so many of the summer moon and the winter moon I would like to shoot along to your ears for nothing, for a laugh, a song,
  • 232.  
    I WANDER down on Clinton street south of Polk
    And listen to the voices of Italian children quarreling.It is a cataract of coloratura
  • 233.  
    WHAT can we say of the night?
    The fog night, the moon night, the fog moon night last night?
  • 234.  
    The mare Alix breaks the worldâ??s trotting record one day. I see her heels flash down the dust of an Illinois race track on a summer afternoon. I see the timekeepers put their heads together over stopwatches, and call to the grand stand a split second is clipped off the old worldâ??s record and a new worldâ??s record fixed.

  • 235.  
    Days of the dead men, Danny.
    Drum for the dead, drum on yourremembering heart.
  • 236.  
    PEA pods cling to stems.
    Neponset, the village,Clings to the Burlington railway main line.
  • 237.  
    What is the name you called me?--
    And why did you go so soon?
  • 238.  
    EMPTY battlefields keep their phantoms.
    Grass crawls over old gun wheelsAnd a nodding Canada thistle flings a purple
  • 239.  
    I am an ancient reluctant conscript.

  • 240.  
    ROSES and gold
    For you today,And the flash of flying flags.
  • 241.  
    THE SEA at its worst drives a white foam up,
    The same sea sometimes so easy and rocking with green mirrors.So you were there when the white foam was up
  • 242.  
    EARLY May, after cold rain the sun baffling cold wind.
    Irish setter pup finds a corner near the cellar door, all sun and no wind,Cuddling there he crosses forepaws and lays his skull
  • 243.  
    THE FLUTTER of blue pigeon's wings
    Under a river bridgeHunting a clean dry arch,
  • 244.  
    DEATH is stronger than all the governments because
    the governments are men and men die and then death laughs: Now you see 'em, now you don't.
  • 245.  
    ELSIE FLIMMERWON, you got a job now with a jazz outfit in vaudeville.
    The houses go wild when you finish the act shimmying a fast shimmy to The Livery Stable Blues.
  • 246.  
    Here is dust remembers it was a rose
    one time and lay in a woman's hair.Here is dust remembers it was a woman
  • 247.  
    PLAY it across the table.
    What if we steal this city blind?If they want any thing let 'em nail it down.
  • 248.  
    re those?'
    'Soldiers.''What are soldiers?'
  • 249.  
    POLICEMAN in front of a bank 3 A.M. ... lonely.
    Policeman State and Madison ... high noon ... mobs ... cars ... parcels ... lonely.
  • 250.  
    THIS handful of grass, brown, says little. This quarter mile field of it, waving seeds ripening in the sun, is a lake of luminous firefly lavender.
    Prairie roses, two of them, climb down the sides of a road ditch. In the clear pool they find their faces along stiff knives of grass, and cat-tails who speak and keep thoughts in beaver brown.
Total 464 poems written by Carl Sandburg

Poem of the day

Dusk In War Time
 by Sara Teasdale

A half-hour more and you will lean
To gather me close in the old sweet way-
But oh, to the woman over the sea
Who will come at the close of day?

A half-hour more and I will hear
The key in the latch and the strong, quick tread-
But oh, the woman over the sea

Read complete poem

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