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I Am the People葉he Mob
by
Carl Sandburg


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Iam the people葉he mob葉he crowd葉he mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is
done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the
world's food and clothes.
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons
come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And
then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns.
I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand
for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me.
I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted.
I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and
makes me work and give up what I have. And I
forget.
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red
drops for history to remember. Then悠 forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the
People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer
forget who robbed me last year, who played me for
a fool葉hen there will be no speaker in all the world
say the name: "The People," with any fleck of a
sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob葉he crowd葉he mass謡ill arrive then.


This poem is in the public domain.

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Carl Sandburg (1878 - 1967) was an American poet, children痴 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:
69Dorcas:
Brilliant. I read it before.
Posted 01/20/2012 06:00 PM
LisaV:
Fantastic. What a great poem. Everyone needs to read this poem. NOW. Thanks for posting it today, Jayne. And thank you, Carl, wherever you are, for writing it.
Posted 01/20/2012 09:36 AM
dianapoet:
I enjoyed this poem from a great poet.
Posted 01/20/2012 08:57 AM
Ralph Murre:
Thanks for posting this, Jayne.
Posted 01/20/2012 08:57 AM
Carol Hauer:
What a great and timely way to be reminded of this concept.
Posted 01/20/2012 08:46 AM
dotief@comcast.net:
This poem certainly does have a modern feel to it! We never change, it would seem.
Posted 01/20/2012 08:27 AM
raindame9:
A magnificent piece of work. Especially relevent at this time. Poets' say it like it is. H.
Posted 01/20/2012 08:26 AM
pwax:
Wonderful poem!! And something for us to remember in today's political climate! Thank you, Jayne, for this powerful piece of poetry!
Posted 01/20/2012 08:16 AM


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