In honor of National Poetry Month that begins on April 1st, I found a Carl Sandburg poem. I’m not all that familiar with Sandburg’s poetry — he is a well known 20th century American poet and this poem “Boxes and Bags” is from his poetry book “Harvest Poems: 1910-1960.”
I actually stumbled upon this poem in a very recent anthology entitled “The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects” selected/compiled by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Chris Raschka.
Boxes and Bags
The bigger the box the more it holds.
Empty boxes hold the same as empty heads.
Enough small empty boxes thrown into a big empty box fill it full.
A half-empty box says, “Put more in.”
A big enough box could hold the world.
Elephants need big boxes to hold a dozen elephant handkerchiefs.
Fleas fold little handkerchiefs and fix them nice and neat in flea
Bags lean against each other and boxes stand independent.
Boxes are square with corners unless round with circles.
Box can be piled on box till the whole works comes tumbling.
Pile box on box and the bottom box says, “if you will kindly take notice
you will see it all rests on me.”
Pile box on box and the top one says, “Who falls farthest if or when we
fall? I ask you.”
Box people go looking for boxes and bag people go looking for bags.