LONG ago I learned how to sleep,
In an old apple orchard where the wind swept by counting its money and throwing it away,
In a wind-gaunt orchard where the limbs forked out and listened or never listened at all,
In a passel of trees where the branches trapped the wind into whistling, “Who, who are you?”
I slept with my head in an elbow on a summer afternoon and there I took a sleep lesson.
There I went away saying: I know why they sleep, I know how they trap the tricky winds.
Long ago I learned how to listen to the singing wind and how to forget and how to hear the deep whine,
Slapping and lapsing under the day blue and the night stars:
Who, who are you?

Who can ever forget
listening to the wind go by
counting its money
and throwing it away?

Analysis, meaning and summary of Carl Sandburg's poem Wind Song


  1. Doug Boyack says:

    I first read this poem first as a in high school in 1965. I loved it then and have loved it ever since. It truly inspired my own halting attempts to compose verse for myself, family and friends. Thank you, Carl Sandburg.

  2. Linda Wilson says:

    I have lived this poem many times—most notably when I was 15 and sat in the orchard at my parents’ home. It was in farm country and the wind passed through the autumn leaves with a lush song and tossed them into the meadow—truly, the wind was “counting its money and throwing it away.”
    I live in the woods now and whenever the wind is right, I can fall gently asleep to its whispering song.

  3. Stanislava says:

    I came across this poem in the summer of 1979, and it touched me to the heart as just a couple of weeks before that I had dreamt one night exactly the same wind, with its deep whine and a whiff of unforgettably fresh air passing through my face. After I awaked it then seemed to me that I was the only to know how to listen the wind. But after having acquainted with the “Wind Song” I realized that I was not alone. However, such a windy dream now comes to me very seldom, much more rarely that I can in my real life to listen the wind or to go over my beloved Sandburg’s lines. Anyway, I wonder whether there are many people or not who sometimes hear the wind in their dreams?

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