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Carl Sandburg - Clean Hands

IT is something to face the sun and know you are free.
To hold your head in the shafts of daylight slanting the earth
And know your heart has kept a promise and the blood runs clean:
  It is something.
To go one day of your life among all men with clean hands,
Clean for the day book today and the record of the after days,
Held at your side proud, satisfied to the last, and ready,
So to have clean hands:
    God, it is something,
    One day of life so
  And a memory fastened till the stars sputter out
  And a love washed as white linen in the noon drying.
Yes, go find the men of clean hands one day and see the life, the memory, the love they have, to stay longer than the
plunging sea wets the shores or the fires heave under the crust of the earth.
O yes, clean hands is the chant and only one man knows its sob and its undersong and he dies clenching the secret more to him
than any woman or chum.
And O the great brave men, the silent little brave men, proud of their hands—clutching the knuckles of their fingers
into fists ready for death and the dark, ready for life and the fight, the pay and the memories—O the men proud of their

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Added: Feb 4 2004 | Viewed: 8272 times | Comments and analysis of Clean Hands by Carl Sandburg Comments (16)

Clean Hands - Comments and Information

Poet: Carl Sandburg
Poem: 19. Clean Hands
Volume: Smoke and Steel
- IV. Playthings of the Wind
Year: Published/Written in 1922
Poem of the Day: May 4 2005

Comment 16 of 16, added on September 28th, 2015 at 6:51 AM.

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Comment 15 of 16, added on September 3rd, 2015 at 10:58 AM.

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Comment 14 of 16, added on June 30th, 2015 at 8:15 AM.

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