Carl Sandburg

Here you will find the Poem Fellow Citizens of poet Carl Sandburg

Fellow Citizens

I drank musty ale at the Illinois Athletic Club with 
the millionaire manufacturer of Green River butter 
one night 
And his face had the shining light of an old-time Quaker, 
he spoke of a beautiful daughter, and I knew he had 
a peace and a happiness up his sleeve somewhere. 
Then I heard Jim Kirch make a speech to the Advertising 
Association on the trade resources of South America. 
And the way he lighted a three-for-a-nickel stogie and 
cocked it at an angle regardless of the manners of 
our best people, 
I knew he had a clutch on a real happiness even though 
some of the reporters on his newspaper say he is 
the living double of Jack London's Sea Wolf. 
In the mayor's office the mayor himself told me he was 
happy though it is a hard job to satisfy all the office- 
seekers and eat all the dinners he is asked to eat. 
Down in Gilpin Place, near Hull House, was a man with 
his jaw wrapped for a bad toothache, 
And he had it all over the butter millionaire, Jim Kirch 
and the mayor when it came to happiness. 
He is a maker of accordions and guitars and not only 
makes them from start to finish, but plays them 
after he makes them. 
And he had a guitar of mahogany with a walnut bottom 
he offered for seven dollars and a half if I wanted it, 
And another just like it, only smaller, for six dollars, 
though he never mentioned the price till I asked him, 
And he stated the price in a sorry way, as though the 
music and the make of an instrument count for a 
million times more than the price in money. 
I thought he had a real soul and knew a lot about God. 
There was light in his eyes of one who has conquered 
sorrow in so far as sorrow is conquerable or worth 
Anyway he is the only Chicago citizen I was jealous of 
that day. 
He played a dance they play in some parts of Italy 
when the harvest of grapes is over and the wine 
presses are ready for work.