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Carl Sandburg - Threes

I WAS a boy when I heard three red words
a thousand Frenchmen died in the streets
for: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity—I asked
why men die for words.
  
I was older; men with mustaches, sideburns,
lilacs, told me the high golden words are:
Mother, Home, and Heaven—other older men with
face decorations said: God, Duty, Immortality
—they sang these threes slow from deep lungs.
  
Years ticked off their say-so on the great clocks
of doom and damnation, soup and nuts: meteors flashed
their say-so: and out of great Russia came three
dusky syllables workmen took guns and went out to die
for: Bread, Peace, Land.
  
And I met a marine of the U.S.A., a leatherneck with a girl on his knee for a memory in ports circling the earth and he said:
Tell me how to say three things and I always get by—gimme a plate of ham and eggs—how much?—and—do you
love me, kid?

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Added: Feb 4 2004 | Viewed: 5193 times | Comments and analysis of Threes by Carl Sandburg Comments (0)

Threes - Comments and Information

Poet: Carl Sandburg
Poem: 10. Threes
Volume: Smoke and Steel
- IV. Playthings of the Wind
Year: Published/Written in 1922
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