Carl Sandburg

(6 January 1878 – 22 July 1967 / Illinois)

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).
    266 person liked.
    66 person did not like.
  • ''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).
    196 person liked.
    86 person did not like.
  • ''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.
    136 person liked.
    84 person did not like.
  • ''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."
    205 person liked.
    53 person did not like.
  • ''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.
    170 person liked.
    56 person did not like.
  • ''Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.''
    29 person liked.
    4 person did not like.

Read more quotations »
Best Poem of Carl Sandburg

Chicago

Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
faces of women and children I have seen the marks
of wanton hunger.
And ...

Read the full of Chicago

Silver Nails

A man was crucified. He came to the city a stranger,
was accused, and nailed to a cross. He lingered hanging.
Laughed at the crowd. "The nails are iron," he
said, "You are cheap. In my country when we crucify
we use silver nails. . ." So he went jeering. They
did not understand him at first. Later they talked about
him in changed voices in the saloons, bowling alleys, and
churches. It came over them every man is crucified
only once in his life and the law of humanity dictates