Ready to Kill

Original Text: 
Carl Sandburg, Chicago Poems (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1916), p. 60. PS 3537 A618C5 1916 Robarts Library.
1TEN minutes now I have been looking at this.
2I have gone by here before and wondered about it.
3This is the bronze memorial of a famous general
4Riding horseback with a flag and a sword and a revolver
5     on him.
6I want to smash the whole thing into a pile of junk to be
7     hauled away to the scrap yard.
8I put it straight to you,
9After the farmer, the miner, the shop man, the factory
10     hand, the fireman and the teamster,
11Have all been remembered with bronze memorials,
12Shaping them on the job and getting all of us
13Something to eat and something to wear,
14When they stack a few silhouettes
15        Against the sky
16        Here in the park,
18     the world, and feeding people instead of butchering
19     them,
20Then maybe I will stand here
21And look easy at this general of the army holding a flag
22     in the air,
23And riding like hell on horseback
24Ready to kill anybody that gets in his way,
25Ready to run the red blood and slush the bowels of men
26     all over the sweet new grass of the prairie.


17] huskies: tough, strong men. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.