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Carl Sandburg - Boy and Father

THE BOY Alexander understands his father to be a famous lawyer.
The leather law books of Alexander’s father fill a room like hay in a barn.
Alexander has asked his father to let him build a house like bricklayers build, a house with walls and roofs made of big
leather law books.
  The rain beats on the windows
  And the raindrops run down the window glass
  And the raindrops slide off the green blinds down the siding.
The boy Alexander dreams of Napoleon in John C. Abbott’s history, Napoleon the grand and lonely man wronged, Napoleon in
his life wronged and in his memory wronged.
The boy Alexander dreams of the cat Alice saw, the cat fading off into the dark and leaving the teeth of its Cheshire smile
lighting the gloom.
Buffaloes, blizzards, way down in Texas, in the panhandle of Texas snuggling close to New Mexico,
These creep into Alexander’s dreaming by the window when his father talks with strange men about land down in Deaf Smith
Alexander’s father tells the strange men: Five years ago we ran a Ford out on the prairie and chased antelopes.
Only once or twice in a long while has Alexander heard his father say “my first wife” so-and-so and such-and-such.
A few times softly the father has told Alexander, “Your mother … was a beautiful woman … but we won’t
talk about her.”
Always Alexander listens with a keen listen when he hears his father mention “my first wife” or
“Alexander’s mother.”
Alexander’s father smokes a cigar and the Episcopal rector smokes a cigar and the words come often: mystery of life,
mystery of life.
These two come into Alexander’s head blurry and gray while the rain beats on the windows and the raindrops run down the
window glass and the raindrops slide off the green blinds and down the siding.
These and: There is a God, there must be a God, how can there be rain or sun unless there is a God?
So from the wrongs of Napoleon and the Cheshire cat smile on to the buffaloes and blizzards of Texas and on to his mother and
to God, so the blurry gray rain dreams of Alexander have gone on five minutes, maybe ten, keeping slow easy time to the
raindrops on the window glass and the raindrops sliding off the green blinds and down the siding.

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Added: Feb 4 2004 | Viewed: 619 times | Comments and analysis of Boy and Father by Carl Sandburg Comments (22)

Boy and Father - Comments and Information

Poet: Carl Sandburg
Poem: 20. Boy and Father
Volume: Smoke and Steel
- II. People Who Must
Year: Published/Written in 1922
Poem of the Day: Aug 29 2006

Comment 22 of 22, added on November 9th, 2015 at 9:33 PM.

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crork seo from Nepal
Comment 21 of 22, added on September 3rd, 2015 at 5:31 AM.

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crorkzz from Micronesia
Comment 20 of 22, added on April 11th, 2014 at 4:10 PM.
And let us not forge

And let us not forget the grmamar tick, “like.” Like, which is used incessantly by teens, drives me up the wall. When I hear too many likes, I start counting on my fingers. When I get to 10, I put my hands up and say, “Let’s try this again without using like.” I’m beginning to wish the word like (also a teenager Facebook obsession) were dropped from the English language.

Dipak from Georgia, Republic of

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