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Carl Sandburg Short Poems

Famous Short Carl Sandburg Poems. Short poetry by famous poet Carl Sandburg. A collection of the all-time best Carl Sandburg short poems


by Carl Sandburg
 I ASKED the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell
me what is happiness.
And I went to famous executives who boss the work of thousands of men.
They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though I was trying to fool with them And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along the Desplaines river And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with their women and children and a keg of beer and an accordion.



by Carl Sandburg
 Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers.
Under the summer roses When the flagrant crimson Lurks in the dusk Of the wild red leaves, Love, with little hands, Comes and touches you With a thousand memories, And asks you Beautiful, unanswerable questions.

by Carl Sandburg
 They offer you many things,
I a few.
Moonlight on the play of fountains at night With water sparkling a drowsy monotone, Bare-shouldered, smiling women and talk And a cross-play of loves and adulteries And a fear of death and a remembering of regrets: All this they offer you.
I come with: salt and bread a terrible job of work and tireless war; Come and have now: hunger.
danger and hate.

by Carl Sandburg
 I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields Orange and tawny gold clusters And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October When dusk is fallen Children join hands And circle round me Singing ghost songs And love to the harvest moon; I am a jack-o'-lantern With terrible teeth And the children know I am fooling.

Fog  Create an image from this poem
by Carl Sandburg
 THE fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on.

by Carl Sandburg
 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.

by Carl Sandburg
 I CRIED over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.
The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.
The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go, not one lasts.



by Carl Sandburg
 NOW the stone house on the lake front is finished and the
workmen are beginning the fence.
The palings are made of iron bars with steel points that can stab the life out of any man who falls on them.
As a fence, it is a masterpiece, and will shut off the rabble and all vagabonds and hungry men and all wandering children looking for a place to play.
Passing through the bars and over the steel points will go nothing except Death and the Rain and To-morrow.

by Carl Sandburg
 WHITE MOON comes in on a baby face.
The shafts across her bed are flimmering.
Out on the land White Moon shines, Shines and glimmers against gnarled shadows, All silver to slow twisted shadows Falling across the long road that runs from the house.
Keep a little of your beauty And some of your flimmering silver For her by the window to-night Where you come in, White Moon.

by Carl Sandburg
 THE owl-car clatters along, dogged by the echo
From building and battered paving-stone.
The headlight scoffs at the mist, And fixes its yellow rays in the cold slow rain; Against a pane I press my forehead And drowsily look on the walls and sidewalks.
The headlight finds the way And life is gone from the wet and the welter-- Only an old woman, bloated, disheveled and bleared.
Far-wandered waif of other days, Huddles for sleep in a doorway, Homeless.

A Coin  Create an image from this poem
by Carl Sandburg
 YOUR western heads here cast on money,
You are the two that fade away together,
Partners in the mist.
Lunging buffalo shoulder, Lean Indian face, We who come after where you are gone Salute your forms on the new nickel.
You are To us: The past.
Runners On the prairie: Good-by.

Omaha  Create an image from this poem
by Carl Sandburg
 RED barns and red heifers spot the green
grass circles around Omaha—the farmers
haul tanks of cream and wagon loads of cheese.
Shale hogbacks across the river at Council Bluffs—and shanties hang by an eyelash to the hill slants back around Omaha.
A span of steel ties up the kin of Iowa and Nebraska across the yellow, big-hoofed Missouri River.
Omaha, the roughneck, feeds armies, Eats and swears from a dirty face.
Omaha works to get the world a breakfast.

by Carl Sandburg
 I SHALL never forget you, Broadway
Your golden and calling lights.
I'll remember you long, Tall-walled river of rush and play.
Hearts that know you hate you And lips that have given you laughter Have gone to their ashes of life and its roses, Cursing the dreams that were lost In the dust of your harsh and trampled stones.

by Carl Sandburg
 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 day, empty as a soldier’s sleeve with an arm lost.
Speak to me …

by Carl Sandburg
 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 factories and cathedrals, warehouses and homes Into buildings for life and labor: You are workmen and citizens all: We command you.

by Carl Sandburg
 ALL day long in fog and wind,
The waves have flung their beating crests
Against the palisades of adamant.
My boy, he went to sea, long and long ago, Curls of brown were slipping underneath his cap, He looked at me from blue and steely eyes; Natty, straight and true, he stepped away, My boy, he went to sea.
All day long in fog and wind, The waves have flung their beating crests Against the palisades of adamant.

by Carl Sandburg
 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.

Bones  Create an image from this poem
by Carl Sandburg
 Sling me under the sea.
Pack me down in the salt and wet.
No farmer's plow shall touch my bones.
No Hamlet hold my jaws and speak How jokes are gone and empty is my mouth.
Long, green-eyed scavengers shall pick my eyes, Purple fish play hide-and-seek, And I shall be song of thunder, crash of sea, Down on the floors of salt and wet.
Sling me .
.
.
under the sea.

Flux  Create an image from this poem
by Carl Sandburg
 SAND of the sea runs red
Where the sunset reaches and quivers.
Sand of the sea runs yellow Where the moon slants and wavers.

by Carl Sandburg
 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-actor, Soldier, dusty drinker of dust— Ah! he will go with me Down the dark stairway When nobody else is looking, When everybody else is gone.
He locks his elbow in mine, I lose all—but not him.

by Carl Sandburg
 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.

by Carl Sandburg
 I AM riding on a limited express, one of the crack trains
of the nation.
Hurtling across the prairie into blue haze and dark air go fifteen all-steel coaches holding a thousand people.
(All the coaches shall be scrap and rust and all the men and women laughing in the diners and sleepers shall pass to ashes.
) I ask a man in the smoker where he is going and he answers: "Omaha.
"

Aztec  Create an image from this poem
by Carl Sandburg
 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 gold Where a man's ring was fixed once On your third finger.
And I call you To come back before the days are longer.

by Carl Sandburg
 IF you never came with a pigeon rainbow purple
Shining in the six o’clock September dusk:
If the red sumach on the autumn roads
Never danced on the flame of your eyelashes:
If the red-haws never burst in a million
Crimson fingertwists of your heartcrying:
If all this beauty of yours never crushed me
Then there are many flying acres of birds for me,
Many drumming gray wings going home I shall see,
Many crying voices riding the north wind.

Window  Create an image from this poem
by Carl Sandburg
 Night from a railroad car window
Is a great, dark, soft thing
Broken across with slashes of light.


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