Tag Archives: Carl Sandburg

Or Maybe Like This, Carl

6 Feb

     BUTT Freezer for the World,
     Slush Maker, Stacker of Snow,
     Player with Wind chills and the Nation’s Ice Box;
     Stormy, frigid, squalling,
     City of the Big Shovels:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
     have seen your cars stranded on Lake Shore Drive
     helpless against the winds of Lake Michigan.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
     is true I have seen backs bent under the weight of a shovel
     laden with wet snow.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
     faces of women and children I have seen frost-bitten noses
     and chapped lips.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
     sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
     and say to them:
Come and show me another city with 700 billion pounds
     of accumulation in twenty-four hours.
Flinging snow into the Chicago River and piling it high
     as skyscrapers, here is an awesome Yeti set vivid against the
     tepid soft cities;

Fierce as a snowthunder, at once clamorous and silent, cunning
     as a flurry pitted against the month of May,
          Freezing, thawing, refreezing,
Under the snow, frost all over his mouth, laughing with
     white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of multiple layers laughing as
   a midwestern Winter laughs,
Laughing even as a naïve Southerner who has
     never seen our Snowpocalypse, our Snowmageddon,
Bragging and laughing that under his wool sweater is the pulse,
     and under his thermal undershirt the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, raspy, brawling laughter of
     Winter, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Butt
     Freezer, Slush Maker, Stacker of Snow, Player with
     Wind chills and the Ice Box to the Nation.