LET the crows go by hawking their caw and caw.
They have been swimming in midnights of coal mines somewhere.
Let ’em hawk their caw and caw.

Let the woodpecker drum and drum on a hickory stump.
He has been swimming in red and blue pools somewhere hundreds of years
And the blue has gone to his wings and the red has gone to his head.
Let his red head drum and drum.

Let the dark pools hold the birds in a looking-glass.
And if the pool wishes, let it shiver to the blur of many wings, old swimmers from old places.

Let the redwing streak a line of vermillion on the green wood lines.
And the mist along the river fix its purple in lines of a woman’s shawl on lazy shoulders.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Carl Sandburg's poem River Roads

1 Comment

  1. Sameer Kapadia says:

    “River Roads,” is a free-verse poem with no particular pattern in its stanzas. This poem is a little hard to understand, but it shows the feelings of the poet for the concept of leaving nature alone. He is almost implying that humans are interfering with nature and that we should leave them alone. The literal meaning seems to be that we are not letting crows caw, let a woodpecker drum on the trees, and so on. There obviously is a figurative meaning to (almost) all lyric poems. The theme is to try and tell humankind to leave nature alone, for we were once part of nature, too. The only important literary device is personification. “And if the pool wishes, let it shiver to the blur of many wings, old swimmers from old places.” Nature has its own wills and humans can interact with nature peacefully.

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