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September 08, 2004

Brain Candy

Cool Tombs
by Carl Sandburg

When Abraham Lincoln was shoveled into the tombs he forgot
the copperheads and the assassin . . . in the dust, in the
cool tombs.

And Ulysses Grant lost all thought of con men and Wall Street,
cash and collateral turned ashes . . . in the dust, in the
cool tombs.

Pocahontas' body, lovely as a poplar, sweet as a red haw in
November or a pawpaw in May, did she wonder? does she
remember? . . . in the dust, in the cool tombs?

Take any streetful of people buying clothes and groceries,
cheering a hero or throwing confetti and blowing tin
horns . . . tell me if the lovers are losers . . . tell me if any
get more than the lovers . . . in the dust . . . in the cool

Posted by Dan at September 8, 2004 01:03 PM

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I've read this poem over and again. What is it about?

Posted by: nate wallack at May 18, 2005 09:44 PM

I think it's about what you make of it. For me, it is a reminder that all the things I make a big deal about, that I waste time on and obsess about, are all going to be forgotten once I die.

It's at least a little gloomy, because it doesn't say the traditional "concentrate on the things that matter" since everything is going to die, it just says that all the things we worry about today will one day end.

You know how it is with poets.

Posted by: Dan at May 18, 2005 10:51 PM

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