Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A MILLION YOUNG WORKMEN, 1915, by CARL SANDBURG



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A MILLION YOUNG WORKMEN, 1915, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A million young workmen straight and strong lay stiff on the grass and roads
Last Line: God damn the grinning kings, god damn the kaiser and the czar.
Subject(s): World War I; First World War


A MILLION young workmen straight and strong lay stiff on the grass and
roads,
And the million are now under soil and their rottening flesh will in
the years feed roots of blood-red roses.
Yes, this million of young workmen slaughtered one another and never
saw their red hands.
And oh, it would have been a great job of killing and a new and
beautiful thing under the sun if the million knew why they hacked and
tore each other to death.
The kings are grinning, the kaiser and the czar -- they are
alive riding
in leather-seated motor cars, and they have their women and roses for
ease, and they eat fresh-poached eggs for breakfast, new butter on
toast, sitting in tall water-tight houses reading the news of war.
I dreamed a million ghosts of the young workmen rose in their shirts
all soaked in crimson ... and yelled:
God damn the grinning kings, God damn the kaiser and the czar.







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