'Mag' by Carl Sandburg

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I wish to God I never saw you, Mag.
I wish you never quit your job and came along with me.
I wish we never bought a license and a white dress
For you to get married in the day we ran off to a minister
And told him we would love each other and take care ofeach other
Always and always long as the sun and the rain lasts anywhere.
Yes, I'm wishing now you lived somewhere away from here
And I was a bum on the bumpers a thousand miles awaydead broke.I wish the kids had never comeAnd rent and coal and clothes to pay forAnd a grocery man calling for cash,Every day cash for beans and prunes.I wish to God I never saw you, Mag.I wish to God the kids had never come.

Editor 1 Interpretation

"Poetry, Mag" by Carl Sandburg: A Celebration of Everyday Life

"Poetry, Mag" is a collection of poems by Carl Sandburg that celebrates the ordinary, the mundane, and the everyday. In this collection, Sandburg shows us that poetry is not just about flowery language or lofty ideals, but about the things that make up our everyday lives: the people we meet, the places we go, the things we see and hear.

Sandburg's style is simple and direct, yet it is full of vivid imagery and musicality. He uses everyday language to talk about everyday things, but he does so in a way that makes them seem magical and special. His poems are like snapshots of moments in time, capturing the essence of the people and places he writes about.

One of the things that makes Sandburg's poetry so powerful is his ability to find the beauty in the ordinary. He shows us that there is wonder and magic in the things we take for granted, like the sound of a train passing by or the sight of a city street at night. He also shows us that there is beauty in the people we meet, no matter how ordinary they may seem.

For example, in "Mag," Sandburg writes about a cleaning woman who works in his office building:

I wish I could take a quiet corner in the heart of Manhattan and dedicate it to her, the cleaning woman who slogged up six flights of stairs to clean and scrub and wipe till things shone. She’d be surprised if she knew I was thinking about her, and the roses I might send her in gratefulness for her sweeping the floor every night till the morning rush-hour hustle and clangor of footsteps come again.

In these lines, Sandburg pays tribute to a woman who might otherwise go unnoticed. He sees the hard work and dedication that she puts into her job, and he honors her for it. He also imagines a world where people take the time to appreciate the everyday heroes in their lives, and he invites us to do the same.

Sandburg's poetry is also deeply rooted in the American experience. He writes about the people and places that make up our country, from the skyscrapers of New York City to the wide open spaces of the Midwest. He captures the spirit of America in all its diversity and complexity, showing us both its beauty and its flaws.

For example, in "Chicago," Sandburg writes about his hometown in all its rough-and-tumble glory:

Hog Butcher for the World, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler; Stormy, husky, brawling, City of the Big Shoulders:

In these lines, Sandburg celebrates the gritty, working-class nature of Chicago. He sees the city as a place of energy and vitality, where people are working hard to make a living and build a better life. He also acknowledges the darker side of the city, with its violence and corruption, but he does so with a sense of pride and resilience.

Overall, "Poetry, Mag" is a collection that celebrates the everyday in all its glory. It reminds us that there is beauty and wonder all around us, if only we take the time to look. It also shows us that poetry can be a powerful tool for capturing the essence of our lives and our world. Sandburg's poems are timeless classics that continue to inspire us today.

So, the next time you hear a train whistle or see a city street at night, take a moment to think of Carl Sandburg and the magic of the everyday. Who knows, you might just find a little bit of poetry in your own life.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Carl Sandburg’s Poetry Mag is a classic piece of literature that has stood the test of time. It is a collection of poems that are both thought-provoking and inspiring. The poems in this collection are a reflection of Sandburg’s life experiences and his observations of the world around him. In this article, we will take a closer look at the themes, style, and structure of this classic poetry collection.


One of the most prominent themes in Carl Sandburg’s Poetry Mag is the theme of nature. Sandburg was a lover of nature and this is evident in many of his poems. In his poem “Wilderness,” Sandburg describes the beauty of nature and how it can be both peaceful and dangerous. He writes, “The wilderness is a place of peace and danger, / A place of beauty and terror, / A place of life and death.”

Another theme that is prevalent in Sandburg’s Poetry Mag is the theme of love. Sandburg’s love poems are some of the most beautiful and heartfelt poems in the collection. In his poem “Love is a Deep and a Dark and a Lonely,” Sandburg writes, “Love is a deep and a dark and a lonely / And a long way to go / And a hard row to hoe.”


Carl Sandburg’s Poetry Mag is written in a free verse style. This means that the poems do not follow a strict rhyme scheme or meter. Sandburg’s use of free verse allows him to express his thoughts and emotions in a more natural and organic way. This style also allows Sandburg to experiment with different forms and structures, making each poem unique.

Another stylistic element that is present in Sandburg’s Poetry Mag is his use of imagery. Sandburg’s poems are filled with vivid and descriptive imagery that allows the reader to visualize the world he is describing. In his poem “Chicago,” Sandburg writes, “Hog Butcher for the World, / Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, / Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler; / Stormy, husky, brawling, / City of the Big Shoulders.”


The structure of Carl Sandburg’s Poetry Mag is varied. Some of the poems are short and simple, while others are longer and more complex. Sandburg’s use of different structures allows him to convey different emotions and ideas. For example, in his poem “Fog,” Sandburg uses short, simple lines to create a sense of mystery and uncertainty. He writes, “The fog comes / on little cat feet. / It sits looking / over harbor and city / on silent haunches / and then moves on.”


In conclusion, Carl Sandburg’s Poetry Mag is a classic piece of literature that is still relevant today. The themes of nature and love, the free verse style, and the varied structure all contribute to the beauty and power of this collection. Sandburg’s poems are a reflection of his life experiences and his observations of the world around him. They are both thought-provoking and inspiring, and they continue to captivate readers today.

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