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Carl Sandburg - Sandhill People

I TOOK away three pictures.
One was a white gull forming a half-mile arch from the pines toward Waukegan.
One was a whistle in the little sandhills, a bird crying either to the sunset gone or the dusk come.
One was three spotted waterbirds, zigzagging, cutting scrolls and jags, writing a bird Sanscrit of wing points, half over the
sand, half over the water, a half-love for the sea, a half-love for the land.
I took away three thoughts.
One was a thing my people call “love,” a shut-in river hunting the sea, breaking white falls between tall clefs of
hill country.
One was a thing my people call “silence,” the wind running over the butter faced sand-flowers, running over the
sea, and never heard of again.
One was a thing my people call “death,” neither a whistle in the little sandhills, nor a bird Sanscrit of wing
points, yet a coat all the stars and seas have worn, yet a face the beach wears between sunset and dusk.

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Added: Feb 4 2004 | Viewed: 6319 times | Comments and analysis of Sandhill People by Carl Sandburg Comments (2)

Sandhill People - Comments and Information

Poet: Carl Sandburg
Poem: 35. Sandhill People
Volume: Smoke and Steel
- V. Mist Forms
Year: Published/Written in 1922
Poem of the Day: Jan 26 2018

Comment 2 of 2, added on January 18th, 2013 at 6:26 AM.

With the bases loaded you sctruk us out with that answer!

Pebbles from Guatemala
Comment 1 of 2, added on December 5th, 2004 at 10:27 PM.

"Sandhill People"-

*- The "Sandhill people" Sandburg is making reference to are birds, more specifcally seagulls. He uses the phrase "a thing my people call _______" as a way to futher establish the idea that the Sandhill people are a small society in themselves and that the gulls have words for the emotions he is describing.

*- The narrator's point (3): A.) picture,
B.) location,
C.) thought
*-There is a clear cut example of parallelism when comparing the gramatical stucture 1st and 2nd stanza, but there is also a relationship between the ideas within these stanzas.

I- A.) Flying Seagull over Pine-trees
B.) Waukegan, IL-
C.) Love- Compared to a flowing river that tumbles over terrain

The scene of a gull flying presumably in the daylight brings about the idea of love and excileration. (River thing)

II- A.) A bird's cry signaling the begining of night
B.) Sandhills
C.) Silence- compared to wind running over terrain, never to be heard again

The scene of a single bird's cry brings about the idea of silence (A single sound makes silence more noticable,) and the begining of darkness/death.

III- A.) 3 waterbirds on the shoreline creating markings in the sand (Bird Sanscrit) The words themselve "zig-zag" like the birds in the stanza because of the use of double gerund phrases.
B.) Beach/Shoreline
C.) Death- described as a "coat all the stars and seas have worn" and "A face the beach wears between sunset and dusk"

The scene of 3 birds scuttling around in the shore brings about the idea death or the end of a day.
*-(CONFUSING- WHAT DOES THE PHRASE "neither a whistle...." ADD TO THE POEM.??)
*-Death- invetiable, old, natural, cyclic, etc....
*-(Maybe change from light to dark, or Day to night, paralleism?)

Robert Plasschaert from United States

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