WHILE the hum and the hurry
Of passing footfalls
Beat in my ear like the restless surf
Of a wind-blown sea,
A soul came to me
Out of the look on a face.

Eyes like a lake
Where a storm-wind roams
Caught me from under
The rim of a hat.
I thought of a midsea wreck
and bruised fingers clinging
to a broken state-room door.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Carl Sandburg's poem Under a Hat Rim


  1. Brooklyn says:

    I think the first four lines talk about the motors on the ocean, since they were mentioned in the book.
    “Riding against the east,
    a veering, steady shadow
    Purrs the motor call
    Of the man-bird
    Ready with the death-laughter
    In his throat
    And in his heart always
    The love of the big blue beyond.”
    This is part of the poem before this section in his book.
    You can tell now how the two are related.
    After that, it gets a little confusing, but I think he’s talking about someone who walked up to him. I’m assuming their eyes were blue, since they looked like a lake. In the part where he brings in, “caught me from under the rim of a hat”, I think he’s talking about how they connected, or how she hooked him(I’m assuming it’s a she). The rest seems to be description.

    Sorry for the late reply 🙂

  2. Izzy says:

    I am prepared to iss the feet of anyone who understands this poem. It’s like he just takes a bunch of random lines and puts them together. Does anyone AT ALL get this poem?

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