The People, Yes by Carl Sandburg

K. Nash with the young Lincoln pondering

K. Nash with the young Lincoln pondering













He was a mystery in smoke and flags

Saying yes to the smoke, yes to the flags,

Yes to the paradoxes of democracy,

Yes to the hopes of government

Of the people by the people for the people,

No to debauchery of the public mind,

No to personal malice nursed and fed,

Yes to the Constitution when a help,

No to the Constitution when a hindrance

Yes to man as a struggler amid illusions,

Each man fated to answer for himself:

Which of the faiths and illusions of mankind

Must I choose for my own sustaining light

To bring me beyond the present wilderness?


Lincoln? Was he a poet?

And did he write verses?


“I have not willingly planted a thorn

in any man’s bosom.”

“I shall do nothing through malice: what

I deal with is too vast for malice.”


Death was in the air.

So was birth.

What was dying few could say.

What was being born none could know.

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2 Responses to “The People, Yes by Carl Sandburg”

  1. B. Nash says:

    What a wonderful set of comments. How right you are. Keep dreaming. Lincoln never stopped until Booth brought it to an end-but his dream lives on!

  2. K. Nash says:

    That was the first time I realized that Lincoln, in his young life, was a dreamer like me. Right there in that picture, if only for a few moments, I felt we were connected. Both indifferent to our peers and the world itself, on a road of hardships, but always dreaming…dreaming of something bigger, better, and the possibilities.

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