SUNDAY night and the park policemen tell each other it
is dark as a stack of black cats on Lake Michigan.
A big picnic boat comes home to Chicago from the peach
farms of Saugatuck.
Hundreds of electric bulbs break the night’s darkness, a
flock of red and yellow birds with wings at a standstill.
Running along the deck railings are festoons and leaping
in curves are loops of light from prow and stern
to the tall smokestacks.
Over the hoarse crunch of waves at my pier comes a
hoarse answer in the rhythmic oompa of the brasses
playing a Polish folk-song for the home-comers.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Carl Sandburg's poem Picnic Boat


  1. Ryan N says:

    Inj the poem, picnic boat, I believe that Sandburg is showing that whenever you think nothing will ever happen or something bad will never brighten up. There is always a chance of your day turning around or getting exciting. Everything can change in an instant.

  2. Gunnar says:

    Don’t you just love the imagery in this poem? Dark as a stack of black cats, I have to remember that one!

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