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Carl Sandburg (1916)
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Long, steel guns,
Pointed from the war ships
In the name of the war god.
Straight, shining, polished guns,
Clambered over with jackies in white blouses,
Glory of tan faces, tousled hair, white teeth,
Laughing lithe jackies in white blouses,
Sitting on the guns singing war songs, war chanties.

Broad, iron shovels,
Scooping out oblong vaults,
Loosening turf and leveling sod.

      I ask you
      To witness—
      The shovel is brother to the gun.

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Carl Sandburg (1918)
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Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—
          I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
          What place is this?
          Where are we now?

          I am the grass.
          Let me work.

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Next page > “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen (1917)...
Poems of War collection > Table of Contents

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