01 October 2007

Carl Sandburg

[from Carl Sandburg: Poetry for Young People, Frances Schoonmaker Bolin, editor; thanks to David Wayne Hampton for pointing me at this poem]

Boxes and Bags
by Carl Sandburg

The bigger the box the more it holds.
Empty boxes hold the same as empty heads.
Enough small empty boxes thrown into a big empty box fill it full.
A half-empty box says, “Put more in.”
A big enough box could hold the world.
Elephants need big boxes to hold a dozen elephant handkerchiefs.
Fleas fold little handkerchiefs and fix them nice and neat in flea
    handkerchief boxes.
Bags lean against each other and boxes stand independent.
Boxes are square with corners unless round with circles.
Box can be piled on box till the whole works comes tumbling.
Pile box on box and the bottom box says, “If you will kindly take notice
    you will see it all rests on me.”
Pile box on box and the top one says, “Who falls farthest if or when we
    fall? I ask you.”
Box people go looking for boxes and bag people go looking for bags.

Poetry for Young People: Carl Sandburg (Poetry For Young People)

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