ONCE when I saw a cripple
Gasping slowly his last days with the white plague,
Looking from hollow eyes, calling for air,
Desperately gesturing with wasted hands
In the dark and dust of a house down in a slum,
I said to myself
I would rather have been a tall sunflower
Living in a country garden
Lifting a golden-brown face to the summer,
Rain-washed and dew-misted,
Mixed with the poppies and ranking hollyhocks,
And wonderingly watching night after night
The clear silent processionals of stars.

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


  1. Joeseph says:

    The poem is basically just saying it is better to be anything other than a cripple or special needs person.

  2. touretts guy says:

    lolz. he is ignoring the cripple.

  3. Anh says:

    I think this poem reflects the image of our society. We’re disgusted by the ugly while always dreaming of the beauty.

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