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Carl Sandburg - Haze

KEEP a red heart of memories
Under the great gray rain sheds of the sky,
Under the open sun and the yellow gloaming embers.
Remember all paydays of lilacs and songbirds;
All starlights of cool memories on storm paths.
Out of this prairie rise the faces of dead men.
They speak to me. I can not tell you what they say.
Other faces rise on the prairie.
  They are the unborn. The future.
Yesterday and to-morrow cross and mix on the skyline
The two are lost in a purple haze. One forgets. One waits.
In the yellow dust of sunsets, in the meadows of vermilion eight o’clock June nights … the dead men and the unborn
children speak to me … I can not tell you what they say … you listen and you know.
I don’t care who you are, man:
I know a woman is looking for you
and her soul is a corn-tassel kissing a south-west wind.
(The farm-boy whose face is the color of brick-dust, is calling the cows; he will form the letter X with crossed streams of
milk from the teats; he will beat a tattoo on the bottom of a tin pail with X’s of milk.)
I don’t care who you are, man:
I know sons and daughters looking for you
And they are gray dust working toward star paths
And you see them from a garret window when you laugh
At your luck and murmur, “I don’t care.”
I don’t care who you are, woman:
I know a man is looking for you
And his soul is a south-west wind kissing a corn-tassel.
(The kitchen girl on the farm is throwing oats to the chickens and the buff of their feathers says hello to the sunset’s
late maroon.)
I don’t care who you are, woman:
I know sons and daughters looking for you
And they are next year’s wheat or the year after hidden in the dark and loam.
My love is a yellow hammer spinning circles in Ohio, Indiana. My love is a redbird shooting flights in straight lines in
Kentucky and Tennessee. My love is an early robin flaming an ember of copper on her shoulders in March and April. My love is
a graybird living in the eaves of a Michigan house all winter. Why is my love always a crying thing of wings?
On the Indiana dunes, in the Mississippi marshes, I have asked: Is it only a fishbone on the beach?
Is it only a dog’s jaw or a horse’s skull whitening in the sun? Is the red heart of man only ashes? Is the flame of
it all a white light switched off and the power house wires cut?
Why do the prairie roses answer every summer? Why do the changing repeating rains come back out of the salt sea wind-blown?
Why do the stars keep their tracks? Why do the cradles of the sky rock new babies?

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Added: Feb 4 2004 | Viewed: 7808 times | Comments and analysis of Haze by Carl Sandburg Comments (1)

Haze - Comments and Information

Poet: Carl Sandburg
Poem: 1. Haze
Volume: Smoke and Steel
- IX. Haze
Year: Published/Written in 1922
Poem of the Day: Jan 13 2017

Comment 1 of 1, added on April 14th, 2014 at 5:32 AM.
I will be the first

I will be the first to comment here buacese I have an additional thought. The quote above is philosophical, I think, a musing about the layers of our life, but on a more practical level, my question is about tears. Does it matter how much and how often we cry? Is the lack of tears a sign of strength, or rather maybe a badge of weakness? Do we cry less in adulthood buacese it is simply less appropriate somehow? Do we cry less as parents buacese we are worried about sending a certain message to our progeny, or maybe buacese there are enough tears (the kind from little eyes) in our lives? All worth thinking about, I think Ooooh one more thought/question. Is it up to us to peel back the layers of our life or are these layers on some level shed automatically as we plow forward with existence?(Deep thoughts for 6:09am, huh? )

Jhep from Dominican Republic

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