More Country People

28/08/2009

Pause, if you will, and marvel at how a poem written in another century in another country still hits the spot in this country, now.

It’s More Country People by Carl Sandburg who was born in 1878. I found it in American Poetry of the Twentieth Century edited by Richard Gray, published by Cambridge University Press.

           More Country People

The six pigs at the breast of their mother

Equal six spots of young brown against a big spot of old brown.

The bleating of the sheep was an arithmetic

Of the long wool coat thick after winter.

The collar of white hair hung on the neck of the black hog,

The roosters of the Buff Cochin people strutted.

 

Cherry branches stuck their blossoms against the sky.

Elbows joined elbows of white blossoms.

Zigzags blent into a mass.

‘Look once at us – today is the day we call today.’

         – Carl Sandburg –

P.S.

If the name Carl Sandburg means something and you can’t work out what, it might be because his poem Fog was used to teach you about metaphor: The fog comes/ on little cat feet . . .


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