Carl Sandburg & “The Passionate Seizure of Beauty”

I live and I write on the surface of things. My heart yearns to swim in the depths of life’s mysteries but that does not appear to be my calling. I know about these mysteries but I know about them with detachment; or, to borrow a line from Hamlet, I “stand in the rear of my affection, out of the shot and danger of desire.” I am not diminishing myself. I am what I am. Or, as Popeye put it, “I yam what I yam!”

But as I meet dear friends in the blog-o-sphere, I deeply admire those of you who have such creative power and can write with such elegance and poetic brilliance. You are at home in the “sounding foam of primal things”, you “dabble in the blood and guts of the terrible”, and you know “the passionate seizure of beauty.” These lines are borrowed from a Carl Sandburg poem which I now share:


My head knocks against the stars.

My feet are on the hilltops.

My finger tips are in the valleys and shores of universal life.

Down in the sounding foam of primal things I reach my hands and play with pebbles of destiny.

I have been to hell and back many times.

I know all about heaven, for I’ve talked to God.

I dabble in the blood and guts of the terrible.

I know the passionate seizure of beauty

And the marvelous rebellion of man at all signs reading, “Keep off.”

My name is Truth and I am the most elusive captive in the universe.


6 thoughts on “Carl Sandburg & “The Passionate Seizure of Beauty”

  1. InnerDialect

    OBJECT ! U do NOT write from the surface of things. No sir.

    U write about the fine sand between rock, .
    Yes… you do not dabble with the blood and gore,

    you yar what you yar…
    and might often stand in the rear of your affection,

    but also where it matters … with your deepest desk .. where your dogs ‘ slay you” and ‘ ma in law’s gardens ‘ provoke amazing thoughts…

    poetry and passion , beauty are perhaps over rated , abused ?
    Beauty for me is that rugged cross, power is that empty grave, passion is Jesus weeping at Lazarus’ : its what we feel for each other as brothers ; the fuel that pulls people together…

    its why we love humanity and canine angels, its why we do not compromise or destroy

    i hardly see you as detached to what you write about. Forgive me, just my comment ;

    in Lieu of some amazing Literatti here…( couldnt reisistthat :)))


    1. literary lew Post author

      Thank you so much. I just love to hear from you. You are so quick-witted! Yes, I guess I’m not as detached as I let on but I would love to swim down there “in the sounding foam of things” from time to time. I’m probably too fragile to handle it!


      1. InnerDialect

        Fragile is such a powered thing. No please dont mind ppl like me rambling on. I go thru yearrrrsss of silence, then chatter. I hardly spoke first half of my life, so the need to make up for it. You are doing just awesome. Please do not re-arrange the way you emote.

        I envy such calm. Must give myself some time out ! God really BLESS you and your precious Blog. Am sure He writes with you.


  2. Pingback: Ma Pa and Me – Oct 31 « Le Art Studio

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