[They picked him up in the grass where he had lain two
days in the rain with a piece of shrapnel in his lungs.]
COME to me only with playthings now. . .
A picture of a singing woman with blue eyes
Standing at a fence of hollyhocks, poppies and sunflowers. . .
Or an old man I remember sitting with children telling stories
Of days that never happened anywhere in the world. . .
No more iron cold and real to handle,
Shaped for a drive straight ahead.
Bring me only beautiful useless things.
Only old home things touched at sunset in the quiet. . .
And at the window one day in summer
Yellow of the new crock of butter
Stood against the red of new climbing roses. . .
And the world was all playthings.
Carl Sandburg had inlisted in war, but saw no action. It was a very boring time of drills and toiling around. The imagery described in this poem reflects his childhood of working on a farm. Poetry reflects personal views on information and contributes thoughts and memories in your head. When Carl Sandburg wrote this, i feel he was writing it directly to the heart, he wanted to see action. He had heard of all the honor and valor that comes with your wounds made from the war. I feel it is a poetic version of the many feelings in not only his head, but in the character of Henry in “The Red Badge of Courage”. It is truly wonderful!