Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays: Selected Poems of Carl Sandburg



There are places I go when I am strong.

One is a marsh pool where I used to go
with a long-ear hound-dog.
One is a wild crabapple tree; I was there
a moonlight night with a girl.
The dog is gone; the girl is gone; I go to these
places when there is no other place to go.

~Page 70, Selected Poems of Carl Sandburg

Title: Selected Poems of Carl Sandburg
ISBN: 9781566192644
Publisher: Barnes & Nobel/1994
Pages: 92

Starting with Chicago, this short book of poetry takes us to the real word of the working class. There are no embellishments but these poems speak of the struggle undergone by that class without whom the world cannot move. The poems depict straight from the heart emotions of what he observed and yet contains that mystical, mysterious element. Each poem makes us think and savour the beauty found in the mundane, normal word of the working class, but retains the mystery and needless to say he makes one think. Poetry ought to be like that.

Here I cite few of his poems. See for yourself what do they make you feel and think.

Cool Tombs

When Abraham Lincoln was shoveled into the tombs he forgot
the copperheads and the assassin . . . in the dust, in the
cool tombs.

And Ulysses Grant lost all thought of con men and Wall Street,
cash and collateral turned ashes . . . in the dust, in the
cool tombs.

Pocahontas' body, lovely as a poplar, sweet as a red haw in
November or a pawpaw in May, did she wonder? does she
remember? . . . in the dust, in the cool tombs?

Take any streetful of people buying clothes and groceries,

cheering a hero or throwing confetti and blowing tin
horns . . . tell me if the lovers are losers . . . tell me if any
get more than the lovers . . . in the dust . . . in the cool


The fog comes
on little cat feet.
t sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

I Am the People, the Mob

am the people--the mob--the crowd--the mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is
done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the
world's food and clothes.
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons
come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And
then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns.
I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand
for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me.
I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted.
I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and
makes me work and give up what I have. And I
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red
drops for history to remember. Then--I forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the
People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer
forget who robbed me last year, who played me for
a fool--then there will be no speaker in all the world
say the name: "The People," with any fleck of a
sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob--the crowd--the mass--will arrive then.

Some of those poems blew me away completely and made me want to read more of his works. Simply look at this:


Out of the fire
Came a man sunken
To less than cinders,
A tea-cup of ashes or so.
And I,
The gold in the house,
Writhed into a stiff pool.

Thanks to Stacy of Stacy's Books, for sending me this poetry book.


Jo-Jo said...

Oh that sounds sad. Thanks for the teaser.

Missy B. said...

Oh, I really like that! Thanks for sharing......

Staci said...

I do like that poem so very much!!!

BooksPlease said...

So sad - the futility of life.

Anonymous said...

Carl Sandburg is wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

Nise' said...

Thanks for sharing the poems today. I don't read them as I should.

JoAnn said...

Beautiful - thank you!

Tea said...

I love the first one. I think all of us might have such a place. Loved the poetry for a change.


Margot said...

The opening poem is a greater teaser. It makes me want to read more of Carl Sandburg.

Zia said...

Sounds sad but I enjoyed the teaser.

Ali said...

I haven't thought about Carl Sandburg's poetry in years. I remember "Fog" from high school lit class now...

These are achingly beautiful poems.

Andrea said...

Great teaser.

Amy said...

I love Sandburg, but haven't read him in ages. Great tease!

Beth said...

I like the I Am the People poem, but I'm afraid if I read anymore it would send my brain in a spin.

kayerj said...

lovely poems. I'm adding this book to my TBR

BurtonReview said...

Oh how I miss poetry!
I used to love love love it and write it myself. I lost my touch though.
Thanks for the awesome taste of the collection.
And thank you for visiting my teaser as well, even if you can't get into a Heyer novel!

Marie Cloutier said...

Nice choice. I used to read a lot of Sandburg. He's a real American classic.

Anonymous said...

that's funny. I was just thinking of Sandburg's poems the other day. I wonder if my mom got rid of the collection she used to have. I read it back in high school and remember loving it.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Beautiful words!

My teaser is here:


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

It has been a long time since I've read any Sandburg. Thanks for sharing this one.

Jennifer said...

Stunningly beautiful prose. Thank you!

Laya said...

I love Carl Sandburg! Thanks for sharing this poem! Great teaser!

BTW, thanks for dropping by and commenting on my teaser!

Mel (He Followed Me Home) said...

Such a sad teaser!

Lisa said...

I love Carl Sandburg. Great choice!

My teaser is here.

Cecelia said...

Gorgeous poetry! Thanks for sharing, and wonderful teaser!

Bryan R. Terry said...

I've never read the poetry of Carl Sandburg. I think I need to rectify that.

My Teaser is HERE

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. A bit of poetry is good to read every day.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you liked it :)