Happy 4th of July!

chicago navy pier

Good Night
by Carl Sandburg (from Smoke and Steel, 1920)

Many ways to say good night.
Fireworks at a pier on the Fourth of July
spell it with red wheels and yellow spokes.
They fizz in the air, touch the water and quit.
Rockets make a trajectory of gold-and-blue
and then go out. Railroad trains at night spell with a smokestack mushrooming a white pillar.
Steamboats turn a curve in the Mississippi crying a baritone that crosses lowland cottonfields to razorback hill.
It is easy to spell good night.
Many ways to spell good night.


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  1. July 4, 2014

    Happy 4th!

    • July 6, 2014

      Happy belated 4th to you, Kev! Hope it was dazzling πŸ™‚ .

      • July 6, 2014


    • July 6, 2014

      Early on the 4th I stopped at a lemonade stand (how could I not, such cute kids!) and Dad, who was collecting the money had a very striped top hat on (red, white, and blue) and he wished me a “Happy Holiday!” with a distinct British accent. I’d say that was very sporting of him πŸ˜‰ .

  2. George Kaplan
    July 8, 2014

    I hope you had a gorgeous Fourth of July, Vickie.
    I suspect the gent you mentioned above was a Limey spy lulling you into a false sense of security! (And I say that as a Limey! Bwahahahaha!)

    • July 9, 2014

      It was gorgeous, and sweltering hot, and for a Limey spy he made great lemonade πŸ˜‰ !

  3. George Kaplan
    July 8, 2014

    I forgot to say that your use of the Sandburg poem is a delight. He had such a very *American* style, the almost bluntly colloquial with High Poetry. Great choice, Madame Vickie.

    • July 9, 2014

      “Bluntly colloquial with High Poetry,” that’s perfect!

  4. George Kaplan
    July 9, 2014

    *It is to blush!* You are too, too kind, Ms Lester.

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