“The People Yes”

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the President and Vice President Elect. They won over 80 million votea, the most cast in a presidential election in history. Donald Trump, the loser, won 75 million votes. He continues to refuse to concede and has lost over 38 legal challenges in state district courts as well as the Pennsylvania appeals court. The judge in his long opinion said, “The voters decide the winners, not lawyers.” Biden has moved ahead, choosing a group of women and men who “look like America” for his cabinet and civil service positions.
I am reminded of the column I wrote after Barack Obama was elected . The first African American to win the office. Joe Biden was his Vice President. At that time, I drew upon the famous poem by Carl Sandburg, “The People Yes.” It is appropriate at this time as well.
Poets can express the human condition better than psychologists and historians. Carl Sandburg was such a poet. He wrote from Chicago in the first half of the 20th century about the American people — who we are, our struggles and what we strive for. His epic poem, “The People Yes” captures this moment in our history. Here are excerpts to illuminate what has happened to all of us .
“The people yes
The people will live on.
The learning and blundering people will live on.
They will be tricked and sold and again sold
And go back to the nourishing earth for rootholds,
The people so peculiar in renewal and comeback,
You can’t laugh off their capacity to take it.
The mammoth rests between his cyclonic dramas.
* * * * * * * *
The people so often sleepy, weary, enigmatic,
Is a vast huddle with many units saying:
“I earn my living.
I make enough to get by
And it takes all my time.
If I had more time
I could do more for myself
And maybe for others.
I could read and study
And talk things over
And find out about things.
It takes time.
I wish I had the time.
* * * * * * *
Man is a long time coming.
Man will yet win.
Brother may yet line up with brother:
This old anvil laughs at many broken hammers.
There are men who can’t be bought.
The fireborn are at home in fire.
The stars make no noise.
You can’t hinder the wind from blowing.
Time is a great teacher.
Who can live without hope?
In this darkness with a great bundle of grief
The people march.
In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the
People march:
“Where to? What next?”
…………………………………………………………………………..Joyce S. Anderson

4 thoughts on ““The People Yes”

  1. Hi! Very interesting how you use poetry to say what it difficult to express. Beautiful idea!
    It is sad that in this case, in 2020, the people of our country are so divided.

  2. Thank you for Carl Sandburg’s beautiful thoughts! Rereading these lines definitely captures our present moments in history. Wow!

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