THE TELESCOPE picks off star dust
on the clean steel sky and sends it to me.

The telephone picks off my voice and
sends it cross country a thousand miles.

The eyes in my head pick off pages of
Napoleon memoirs … a rag handler,
a head of dreams walks in a sheet of
mist … the palace panels shut in nobodies
drinking nothings out of silver
helmets … in the end we all come to a
rock island and the hold of the sea-walls.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Carl Sandburg's poem Pick Offs

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