Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Friday, October 29, 2004


In honor of the recent close of the baseball season, here’s the first paragraph of Sandburg’s preface to the selected poems that came out late in his life, “Harvest Poems, 1910 - 1960”:

“The inexplicable is all around us. So is the incomprehensible. So is the unintelligible. Interviewing Babe Ruth in 1928, I put it to him, ‘People come and ask what’s your system for hitting home runs -- that so?’ ‘Yes,’ said the Babe, ‘and all I can tell ‘em is I pick a good one and sock it. I get back to the dugout and they ask me what it was I hit and I tell ‘em I don’t know except it looked good.’”

And here’s a short poem from his 1928 collection with a latterly famous title, “Good Morning, America.” A poem called “Maybe.”

Maybe he believes me, maybe not.
Maybe I can marry him, maybe not.
Maybe the wind on the prairie,
The wind on the sea, maybe,
Somebody somewhere, maybe, can tell.
I will lay my head on his shoulder
And when he asks me I will say yes,

Sandburg had significant influence on the makeup of the folk song repertoire and the folksinger persona. He wrote a ton of stuff with a large influence (mostly disavowed) on the Beats and (largely unknown) on the slammers. But besides all that, I just dig him.

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