A thought in passing while reading Carl Sandburg’s Chicago Poems:
He imagined himself in sweet old age
right up to his death on the pavement at fifty-two,
and at that moment the kids who were there
looked every bit as right and bright
as his own two grandchildren,
if not better in that light,
I share this not to draw any subtle or grand connection; rather, this is just an illustration of how my mind carries on its own conversation while I read.
Here’s a lovely short poem from the book:
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?
And here’s one from Robert Frost’s Mountain Interval, a book I finished reading a couple of days ago:
Always—I tell you this they learned—
Always at night when they returned
To the lonely house from far away
To lamps unlighted and fire gone gray,
They learned to rattle the lock and key
To give whatever might chance to be
Warning and time to be off in flight:
And preferring the out- to the in-door night,
They learned to leave the house door wide
Until they had lit the lamp inside.
I offer no analysis. What would be the point? Not one of you is incapable of drawing your own sound, meaningful conclusions.
And if I were Poet Laureate (ha!), this is what I’d say: You are the poem; there is no other way.