Asia Online (TAO)
New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1916
Down between the walls of shadow
Where the iron laws insist,
The hunger voices mock.
The worn wayfaring men
With the hunched and humble shoulders,
Throw their laughter into toil.
IN A BACK ALLEY
Remembrance for a great man is this.
The newsies are pitching pennies.
And on the copper disk is the man's face.
Dead lover of boys, what do you ask for now?
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
Out of the fire
Came a man sunken
To less than cinders,
A tea-cup of ashes or so.
The gold in the house,
Writhed into a stiff pool.
The single clenched fist lifted and ready,
Or the open asking hand held out and waiting.
For we meet by one or the other.
Your whitelight flashes the frost to-night
Moon of the purple and silent west.
Remember me one of your lovers of dreams.
Sand of the sea runs red
Where the sunset reaches and quivers.
Sand of the sea runs yellow
Where the moon slants and wavers.
Your white shoulders
And your shrug of laughter.
From your white shoulders.
I have love
And a child,
(Losses of God,
All will go
And one day
We will hold
Only the shadows.)
Yellow dust on a bumble
Grey lights in a woman's
Red ruins in the changing
I take you and pile high
Death will break her claws
on some I keep.
THE ROAD AND THE END
I am the undertow
Washing tides of power
Battering the pillars
Under your things of high law.
I am a sleepless
Maker of rust and rot
In your bastioned fastenings,
I am the Law
Older than you
And your builders proud.
I am deaf
In all days
Say "Yes" or "No".
I am the crumbler:
FOGS AND FIRES
The monotone of the rain is beautiful,
And the sudden rise and slow relapse
Of the long multitudinous rain.
The sun on the hills is beautiful,
Or a captured sunset sea-flung,
Bannered with fire and gold.
A face I know is beautiful--
With fire and gold of sky and sea,
And the peace of long warm rain.
Memory of you is . . . a blue spear of flower.
I cannot remember the name of it.
Alongside a bold dripping poppy is fire and silk.
And they cover you.
I sang to you and the moon
But only the moon remembers.
O reckless free-hearted
Even the moon remembers them
And is kind to me.
Paula is digging and shaping the loam of a salvia,
Scarlet Chinese talker of summer.
Two petals of crabapple blossom blow fallen in Paula's
And fluff of white from a cottonwood.
Dragoons, I tell you the white hydrangeas
turn rust and go soon.
Already mid September a line of brown runs
One sunset after another tracks the faces, the
Waiting, they look over the fence for what
way they go.
Night from a railroad car window
Is a great, dark, soft thing
Broken across with slashes of light.
OTHER DAYS (1900-1910)
UPLANDS IN MAY
Wonder as of old things
Fresh and fair come back
Hangs over pasture and road.
Lush in the lowland grasses rise
And upland beckons to upland.
The great strong hills are humble.
one can find a likeness to Japanese poetics in Sandburgs verse it is in
the Chicago Poems, a few of which are brief, unrhymed, and culminate
in a sharp visual image. Those most like haiku had been published
first in Poetry in 1914, the year after Pounds Imagisme,
A Few Donts for an Imagiste, and IN A STATION OF THE METRO
had appeared in that journal. The search for Sandburgs sources for his
haiku-like poems, then, most profitably begins, and ends, in those
and related works."
David Ewick, 'Carl Sandburg', Bibliography of Japan in English-Language Verse, http://themargins.net/bib/C/ca/ca06.html