Thank You, Mr. Sandburg

Prayer of Thanks

Carl Sandburg

OUR PRAYER OF THANKS

God,

For the gladness here where the sun is shining at evening on the weeds at the river,

  Our prayer of thanks.

  God,

For the laughter of children who tumble barefooted and bareheaded in the summer grass,

  Our prayer of thanks.

  God,

For the sunset and the stars, the women and their white arms that hold us,

  Our prayer of thanks.

  God,

If you are deaf and blind, if this is all lost to you,

God, if the dead in their coffins amid the silver handles on the

         edge of town, or the reckless dead of war days thrown

         unknown in pits, if these dead are forever deaf and blind

         and lost,

  Our prayer of thanks.

  God,

The game is all your way, the secrets and the signals and the system;

          and so for the break of the game and the first play and the last,

  Our prayer of thanks.

                                                                         –Carl Sandburg, “Our Prayer of Thanks”

 

 

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6 Comments

  1. JoAnne Kurman

    I am speechless. This power of this poem is amazing. It’s the first time I read it. It’s one to ponder and reread alot. I’m not sure what it means. Does it really mean thank you, God? Or…anyway, I’ll get back to you on that. Thank you for this.

    Reply
    1. yourrel4 (Post author)

      JoAnne,
      If a group of us sat in a quiet room, read this poem, placed ourselves in the settings he describes, thought and wondered about his verse we might say “I’m not sure what it means,” and would not that be okay? The images he “paints” for himself and us are ones we’ve experienced, questioned, felt assured but then wondered about? And for all of that [I believe] he says thank you, God.
      Thank you Jo Anne for reading, commenting, and being a questioner.
      Roger

      Reply
  2. Colette

    Yes, thank you, Carl Sandburg, for this exquisite poem prayer, and you Roger, for sharing his supplications with us. This expression of gratitude to God for everything, digs deeply into our souls, raising questions without answers, seeking solace, giving thanks for all the gifts of this miraculous life, including all the blessings and challenges, the joys and sorrow, the simple truths and the inexplicable, peace and pain, the glorious yin and yang of all that is. I am reminded of Anne Lamott’s teaching us the three essential prayers, Help, Thanks, Wow! I pray…….

    Reply
    1. yourrel4 (Post author)

      Colette,
      Thank you, and well said. An [all] inclusive prayer–Help, Thanks, Wow!”
      Roger

      Reply
  3. gary Lievre

    He was something else it is a wonderful prayer Thanks for sending. My thought was it was about Ryan you big Cub fan.

    Reply
    1. yourrel4 (Post author)

      Gary,
      Thanks for reading and commenting. Ryne (Rhino) Sandberg “wrote” poetry of a different “bag” although both spent time in the City of the Big Shoulders. Carl wrote of Chicago and Rhino played for Chicago, but both are “Hall of Famers” in my mind. [I thought this would be a humorous response, but when I read it a second time I didn’t get my own joke–go figure?]
      Roger

      Reply

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