Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Playthings of the Wind

As I am too busy to write a new post today, I will instead share one of my favorite poems: the second of Carl Sandberg's Preludes on Playthings of the Wind.

The doors were cedar
and the panels strips of gold
and the girls were golden girls
and the panels read and the girls chanted:
    We are the greatest city,
    the greatest nation:
    nothing like us ever was.

The doors are twisted on broken hinges.
Sheets of rain swish through on the wind
where the golden girls ran and the panels read:
    We are the greatest city,
    the greatest nation,
    nothing like us ever was.

1 comment:

  1. It's one of those poems that are often on high school syllabuses, and thus have become a bitShell cliched, but my personal favorite along the same lines is Shelley's Ozymandius, which I am sure you know, but perhaps other readers do not:

    I met a traveller from an antique land,
    Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
    And on the pedestal, these words appear:
    My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
    Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.”