Famous Life Poem

Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) writes this poem in the form of a free verse riddle. It follows no specific structure or rhyme scheme. When we find out the answer to the riddle, we see that this poem uses personification to describe it. Carl Sandburg’s interest in President Abraham Lincoln (“Honest Abe”) led him to write two multi-volume biographies. These biographies brought Sandburg the honor of the 1939 Pulitzer Prize in History.

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Who Am I?

Carl Sandburg By more Carl Sandburg

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 destiny.
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.

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