Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

“The Shovel Man” is probably my favorite Sandburg poem. He wrote lots of others that come close, but the last four lines of this score a bull’s eye right in the center of my heart.

   On the street
Slung on his shoulder is a handle half way across,
Tied in a big knot on the scoop of cast iron
Are the overalls faded from sun and rain in the ditches;
Spatter of dry clay sticking yellow on his left sleeve
And a flimsy shirt open at the throat,
I know him for a shovel man,
A dago working for a dollar six bits a day
And a dark-eyed woman in the old country dreams of
him for one of the world’s ready men with a pair
of fresh lips and a kiss better than all the wild
grapes that ever grew in Tuscany.

 

The Shovel Man | 9:02 am CDT
Category: Big Book of Quotations, daily drivel
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