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Winter Milk
by
Carl Sandburg


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The milk drops on your chin, Helga,
Must not interfere with the cranberry red of your cheeks
Nor the sky winter blue of your eyes.
Let your mammy keep hands off the chin.
This is a high holy spatter of white on the reds and blues.
 
Before the bottle was taken away,
Before you so proudly began today
Drinking your milk from the rim of a cup
They did not splash this high holy white on your chin.
 
There are dreams in your eyes, Helga.
Tall reaches of wind sweep the clear blue.
The winter is young yet, so young.
Only a little cupful of winter has touched your lips.
Drink on … milk with your lips … dreams with your eyes.

This poem is in the public domain.
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Carl Sandburg (1878 - 1967) was an American poet, children’s author, and biographer. The son of Swedish parents who immigrated to Illinois, Carl was forced to drop out of school after the eighth grade to help support the family. He worked at a number of different jobs, then did a stint as a hobo before volunteering to serve in the Spanish-American war. A plain-speaking poet with a style similar to that of Walt Whitman, Carl often chose American life as his subject matter--especially industry, agriculture, and the common man. Like Whitman, he attended several colleges, but never received a degree, except for honorary ones bestowed years later on the merit of his work.


Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
I don't think I've ever seen or heard this poem before. It's beautiful!
Posted 01/23/2013 09:15 AM
marenomitchell:
I had the good luck to work at the Carl Sandburg National Historic Site, and developed a great respect for this truly American poet.
Posted 01/21/2013 12:27 PM


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