Home / Poetry / I Am the People, the Mob
Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011

I Am the People, the Mob

Google+ Pinterest Print







I am the people -- the mob -- the crowd -- the mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world’s food and
    clothes.
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me
    and the Lincolns.  They die.  And then I send forth more Napoleons
    and Lincolns.
I am the seed ground.  I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing.
    Terrible storms pass over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out
    and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and makes
    me work and give up what I have. And I forget.
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history
    to remember. Then -- I forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the
    lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year,
    who played me for a fool --  then there will be no speaker in all the
    world say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a sneer in his
    voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob -- the crowd -- the mass will arrive then.  



Carl Sandburg lived in Milwaukee from 1907 to 1912, the period when he first began to write his realist, free verse poems.  He was a Socialist organizer and a newspaper reporter.  From 1910 to 1912 he was secretary to Emil Seidel, Milwaukee’s first Socialist mayor. 
Log in to use your Facebook account with
Express Milwaukee

Login With Facebook Account



Recent Activity on Express Milwaukee