Thousands of sheep, soft-footed, black-nosed sheep–
one by one going up the hill and over the fence–one by
one four-footed pattering up and over–one by one wiggling
their stub tails as they take the short jump and go
over–one by one silently unless for the multitudinous
drumming of their hoofs as they move on and go over–
thousands and thousands of them in the grey haze of
evening just after sundown–one by one slanting in a
long line to pass over the hill–

I am the slow, long-legged Sleepyman and I love you
sheep in Persia, California, Argentine, Australia, or
Spain–you are the thoughts that help me when I, the
Sleepyman, lay my hands on the eyelids of the children
of the world at eight o’clock every night–you thousands
and thousands of sheep in a procession of dusk making
an endless multitudinous drumming on the hills with
your hoofs.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Carl Sandburg's poem Sheep


  1. Lawrence Toms says:

    My business makes Sheep Poo PaperTM !!

    I am thinking of publishing a book of Sheep Poetry on this paper – do you think a poetry competition might be a good idea?

  2. chad says:

    hek who dosen’t like sheep!!!

  3. chad says:

    i like it!!

  4. John says:

    i love sheep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leave a Reply to chad Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Carl Sandburg better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.