Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Answer

You have spoken the answer.
A child searches far sometimes
Into the red dust
                       On a dark rose leaf
And so you have gone far
                       For the answer is:
                                           Silence.

   In the republic
Of the winking stars
                       and spent cataclysms
Sure we are it is off there the answer is hidden and folded over,
Sleeping in the sun, careless whether it is Sunday or any other
    day of the week,

Knowing silence will bring all one way or another.

Have we not seen
Purple of the pansy
            out of the mulch
            and mold
            crawl
            into a dusk
            of velvet?
            blur of yellow?
Almost we thought from nowhere but it was the silence,
            the future,
            working.
 

Credit


This poem is in the public domain.

About this Poem


“The Answer” was published in Sandburg’s book Chicago Poems (H. Holt and Company, 1916). 

Author


Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg was awarded three Pulitzer Prizes in his lifetime—the first in 1919 for his poetry collection Corn Huskers, the second in 1940 for his biography Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, and the third in 1951 for Complete Poems.

Date Published: 2016-01-03

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/answer-0