Friday, February 10, 2006

the marvelous rebellion of man

Carl's poem "Who Am I?" (below) was certainly not intended to express the public awareness of his work here in 2006, but something more significant, the 'elusive captive' of truth. Poetry does not fully explain itself, by its nature it too is elusive.

Some days in this process I look at what I expect, and what others think this project should be and I want to trash the signs (and scripts from the past) that tell me what to do. It's long been my belief and philosphy that how you tell a story should be based (in part) on the character and style of the subject itself. These trace elements of insight and history help to mold and shape the outcome. That is why there are two large piles of books and folders on my desk. Seven different biographies of Sandburg, one of Bob Dylan, original editions of his Lincoln biography... even the texture of the paper and binding say something about the work and period it was written. It is an on-going search for the truth, or as close as you can get to expressing the essential elements of the subject.


My head knocks against the stars.
My feet are on the hilltops.
My finger-tips are in the valleys and shores of
universal life.
Down in the sounding foam of primal things I
reach my hands and play with pebbles of
I have been to hell and back many times.
I know all about heaven, for I have talked with God.
I dabble in the blood and guts of the terrible.
I know the passionate seizure of beauty
And the marvelous rebellion of man at all signs
reading "Keep Off."

My name is Truth and I am the most elusive captive
in the universe.

Carl Sandburg

(From Chicago Poems, In public domain)

1 comment:

Sharon Solesbee said...

I watched the documentary on PBS a few days ago, North Carolina. This is truly a captivating poem by Carl Sandburg. Thank you for sharing it!

Sharon Solesbee, Internet Engineer