Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, GRACELAND, by CARL SANDBURG

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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GRACELAND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Tomb of a millionaire
Last Line: Home town or the name people call her.)
Subject(s): Cemeteries; Graveyards

Tomb of a millionaire,
A multi-millionaire, ladies and gentlemen,
Place of the dead where they spend every year
The usury of twenty-five thousand dollars
For upkeep and flowers
To keep fresh the memory of the dead.
The merchant prince gone to dust
Commanded in his written will
Over the signed name of his last testament
Twenty-five thousand dollars be set aside
For roses, lilacs, hydrangeas, tulips,
For perfume and color, sweetness of remembrance
Around his last long home.
(A hundred cash girls want nickels to go to the movies to-night.
In the back stalls of a hundred saloons, women are at tables
Drinking with men or waiting for men jingling loose silver dollars
in their pockets.
In a hundred furnished rooms is a girl who sells silk or dress goods
or leather stuff for six dollar a week wages
And when she pulls on her stockings in the morning she is reckless
about God and the newspapers and the police, the talk of her
home town or the name people call her.)

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