Carl Sandburg

(6 January 1878 – 22 July 1967 / Illinois)

Baltic Fog Notes


Seven days all fog, all mist, and the turbines pounding through high seas.
I was a plaything, a rat’s neck in the teeth of a scuffling mastiff.
Fog and fog and no stars, sun, moon.
Then an afternoon in fjords, low-lying lands scrawled in granite languages on a gray sky,
A night harbor, blue dusk mountain shoulders against a night sky,
And a circle of lights blinking: Ninety thousand people here.
Among the Wednesday night thousands in goloshes and coats slickered for rain,
I learned how hungry I was for streets and people.

I would rather be water than anything else.
I saw a drive of salt fog and mist in the North Atlantic and an iceberg dusky as a cloud in the gray of morning.
And I saw the dream pools of fjords in Norway … and the scarf of dancing water on the rocks and over the edges of mountain shelves.
Bury me in a mountain graveyard in Norway.
Three tongues of water sing around it with snow from the mountains.

Bury me in the North Atlantic.
A fog there from Iceland will be a murmur in gray over me and a long deep wind sob always.

Bury me in an Illinois cornfield.
The blizzards loosen their pipe organ voluntaries in winter stubble and the spring rains and the fall rains bring letters from the sea.

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

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