Thursday, November 1, 2012

Poetry Friday: The People, Yes

There is a terrific cover story in Time magazine about the making of the movie Lincoln. I'm looking forward to seeing this film. With this and the presidential election in mind, I am offering Carl Sandburg's The People, Yes for Poetry Friday this week. Check out Poetry Friday at Mainely Write

He was a mystery in smoke and flags
Saying yes to the smoke, yes to the flags,
Yes to the paradoxes of democracy,
Yes to the hopes of government
Of the people by the people for the people,
No to debauchery of the public mind,
No to personal malice nursed and fed,
Yes to the Constitution when a help,
No to the Constitution when a hindrance
Yes to man as a struggler amid illusions,
Each man fated to answer for himself:
Which of the faiths and illusions of mankind
Must I choose for my own sustaining light
To bring me beyond the present wilderness?

       Lincoln? Was he a poet?
       And did he write verses?
“I have not willingly planted a thorn
       in any man’s bosom.”
I shall do nothing through malice: what
       I deal with is too vast for malice.”

Death was in the air.
So was birth.


  1. "Lincoln? Was he a poet?" Yep, I think so! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. "what / I deal with is too vast for malice." Powerful stuff!

  3. Wow. I don't think I've ever read this poem before. Wonderful! I'm not a big history/politics buff, but the movie looks really interesting...

  4. I've never run across this poem before. I too like "what I deal with is too vast for malice". Thanks for sharing!

  5. "...the paradoxes of democracy"...ain't that the truth?!?

    1. As one who hails from Ohio, you know this better than most, Mary Lee! Thank you to everyone who stopped by!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.