Carl Sandburg

(6 January 1878 – 22 July 1967 / Illinois)

The Red Son - Poem by Carl Sandburg

I love your faces I saw the many years
I drank your milk and filled my mouth
With your home talk, slept in your house
And was one of you.
But a fire burns in my heart.
Under the ribs where pulses thud
And flitting between bones of skull
Is the push, the endless mysterious command,
Saying:
"I leave you behind--
You for the little hills and the years all alike,
You with your patient cows and old houses
Protected from the rain,
I am going away and I never come back to you;
Crags and high rough places call me,
Great places of death
Where men go empty handed
And pass over smiling
To the star-drift on the horizon rim.
My last whisper shall be alone, unknown;
I shall go to the city and fight against it,
And make it give me passwords
Of luck and love, women worth dying for,
And money.
I go where you wist not of
Nor I nor any man nor woman.
I only know I go to storms
Grappling against things wet and naked."
There is no pity of it and no blame.
None of us is in the wrong.
After all it is only this:
You for the little hills and I go away.


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Read poems about / on: money, women, city, star, woman, house, son, rain, red, fire, home, alone, death, sleep, smile



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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