Representative Poetry Online
  Poet Index   Poem Index   Random   Search  
  Introduction   Timeline   Calendar   Glossary   Criticism   Bibliography  
  RPO   Canadian Poetry   UTEL  
by Name
by Date
by Title
by First Line
by Last Line
Short poem

Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

Death Snips Proud Men

              1DEATH is stronger than all the governments because
     the governments are men and men die and then
     death laughs: Now you see 'em, now you don't.

              2Death is stronger than all proud men and so death
     snips proud men on the nose, throws a pair of
     dice and says: Read 'em and weep.

              3Death sends a radiogram every day: When I want
     you I'll drop in--and then one day he comes with a
     master-key and lets himself in and says: We'll
     go now.

              4Death is a nurse mother with big arms: 'Twon't hurt
     you at all; it's your time now; just need a
     long sleep, child; what have you had anyhow
     better than sleep?


1] snips: cuts down with scissors (cf. Atropos, the fate who cut the thread of men's life).

3] radiogram: wireless message.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Carl Sandburg, Smoke and Steel (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920), p. 60. PS 3537 A61856 1920 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1920
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 4:2002/3/7

Rhyme: abcb

Other poems by Carl Sandburg