Carl Sandburg Quotes
''Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work.''Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), U.S. poet. New York Times (Feb. 13, 1959).
''Ordering a man to write a poem is like commanding a pregnant woman to give birth to a red-headed child.''Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), U.S. poet. Quoted in The Reader's Digest (Pleasantville, New York, February, 1978).
''The mammoth rests between his cyclonic dramas.''Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), U.S. poet. The People, Yes (l. 7). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiessen, ed. (1950) Oxford University Press.
''Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come.''Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), U.S. poet. The People, Yes (1936). The words were popularized during the anti-war protests of the 1960s, and were echoed in the 1970 movie Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came? starring Brian Keith and Tony Curtis. Allen Ginsberg also recalls the line in his 1972 poem, Graffiti: "What if someone gave a war & Nobody came? Life would ring the bells of Ecstasy and Forever be Itself again."
''The sea speaks a language polite people never repeat. It is a colossal scavenger slang and has no respect.''Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), U.S. poet. Two Nocturnes.
''Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.''
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The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
I sat with a dynamiter at supper in a German saloon eating steak and onions.
And he laughed and told stories of his wife and children and the cause of labor and the working class.
It was laughter of an unshakable man knowing life to be a rich and red-blooded thing.
Yes, his laugh rang like the call of gray birds filled with a glory of joy ramming their winged flight through a rain storm.
His name was in many newspapers as an enemy of the nation and few keepers of churches or schools woul