Sandburg Serendipity

While roaming through the stacks on the fifth floor of E.S. Bird Library at Syracuse University—in search of J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey—I came across a green, hardcover volume of Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg.

Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg.

Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg.

I pulled the book off the shelf and cracked it open, turning randomly to page 116. There I found the poem Under the Harvest Moon. Sandburg’s words seem fitting as classes at SU resume and summer gives way to fall.

My favorite part of the poem is the phrase, “flagrant crimson lurks in the dusk of the wild red leaves.”

I thought I would share the text of the poem with you, and I hope you find the words as meaningful as I did.

Under the Harvest Moon

UNDER the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers.

Under the summer roses
When the flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions.

Sandburg, Carl. Chicago Poems. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1916.