Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, I AM THE PEOPLE, THE MOB, by CARL SANDBURG



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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I AM THE PEOPLE, THE MOB, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I am the people - the mob - the crowd - the mass
Last Line: The mob -- the crowd -- the mass -- will arrive then.
Subject(s): Labor & Laborers; Work; Workers


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.





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