Visiting Sandburg's Homeplace

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Posts: 949
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Visiting Sandburg's Homeplace

#1 Post by Kenneth2816 » 27 Jun 2019, 18:22

For we all love a wild girl
keeping a hold on a dream
she wants, singer, dancer,
passionate lover.."

Excerpt From "Gone"
Carl Sandburg

There's a turnstile where prize roses
stood, and for two bucks I can stand
where you stood pissing after a hard
session of black coffee and rewrites.

The lake where you once danced
rainbow from the end of a line
to pan fry for breakfast has a sign

in knee deep water: "Use by Flat Rock
Residents only, No Swimming"
It's all gone, this brawling land

you loved, the heave and strive
of empire, stripped to the waist,
smell of coke in the air, the ring
of hammer on steal, the creak
of a passing freight in the night,
on the go man, carrying the mail.

Episcopalians have joined your
fence line, old umbilicus of
Gloria Patti refrain from bible camp,
St John in the Wilderness ,and I.
can hear you preaching to the goats.

They tell me you watched inconsolable
from your veranda, rings of smoke
through pine boughs as Highland
Hospital burned and Zelda Fitzgerald
sedated in a locked ward, danced

her last in rooms of fire. The poet's
heart in you was overturned, refusing
food or ink for days, refusing now
to leave these hills, this place, you son
of ashes, you rusted ghost.

* This place is 20 minutes from my house. Sandburg was the most read American poet in his life time. He was the last noted poet to make a living solely from his works, though he did write the definitive biography of Lincoln.

The state of NC bought the site after his death in 1967. The interior looks as if he just left for a minute. His library is still intact, his typewriter at the ready. Each year, the NC Arts Council awards aspiring NC poets a residency and a stipend so they can stay there and write.

St John in the Wilderness is an Episcopal chapel built in 1836 that would have been the North border of Sandburg's pasture where Sandburg's wife raised prize gosts. It still stands There are about a dozen goats left of the original herd.

Highland Hospital is about 30 minutes. The building remains. It was a "sanitorium" of world renown until gutted by the fire.

Posts: 1191
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Visiting Sandburg's Homeplace

#2 Post by BobBradshaw » 29 Jun 2019, 22:12

Good poem throughout. I like the closing lines.

a misplaced period here after "I".... extra space after wilderness
St John in the Wilderness ,and I.
can hear you preaching to the goats.

Posts: 949
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: Visiting Sandburg's Homeplace

#3 Post by Kenneth2816 » 02 Jul 2019, 18:44

Thank you Bob. Rarely do I annotate a poem .This was an assignment for a local magazine. They accepted it if I would remove " pissing". I decided not too. Appreciate your support

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