Friday, September 14, 2012


Marilyn Monroe and Carl Sandburg
by Arnold Newman


I am the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.

Do you know that all the great work of the world is
---done through me?

I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the
---world's food and clothes.

I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napo-
---leons come from me and the Lincolns. They die.
---And then I send forth more Napoleons and Lin-

I am the seed ground. I am the prairie that will stand
---for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me.
---I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted.
---I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and
---makes me work and give up what I have. And I

Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red
---drops for history to remember. Then—I forget.

When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the
---People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer
---forget who robbed me last year, who played me for
---a fool—then there will be no speaker in all the world
---say the name: "The People," with any fleck of a
---sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.

The mob—the crowd—the mass—will arrive then.

Chicago Poems
University of Illinois Press