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The Carl Sanburg of my youth was silly and frivoulous but very delightful. I only vaguely recall my father reading about Gimme the Axe, Axe Me No Questions, and Please Gimee in his big booming animated voice. The plot lines all run together but the wonderful ridiculousness of the stories remain a favored flavor of memory, which is why when I saw a book of poetry for sale in the used book store I picked it up. Having never known Sandburg's poetry I was immediately taken in and amazed. It is like my super fun childhood friend grew up to be an incredible adult. Before picking up the poetry I knew next to little about Sandburg's politics, history, perspective, and life and who knows how much I would have cared before. It has been a long cold winter - my mind and spirit were ready for serious thoughts and words from an elder of a different but difficult time.

This is the first poem I read which still captures my attention:


The little boy blew bubbles
Floating the air to glisten and shine
With a rainbow joy and airiness silken:
They floated and broke and were gone

The man blew bubbles,
Made nations and kings and captains
And armies that marched and slaughtered
And laughed at the blood on their hands--
But the armies and kinds and captains
Are broken and vanished and gone.

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