Home  »  Chicago Poems  »  36. The Has-Been

Carl Sandburg (1878–1967). Chicago Poems. 1916.

36. The Has-Been

A STONE face higher than six horses stood five thousand years gazing at the world seeming to clutch a secret.

A boy passes and throws a niggerhead that chips off the end of the nose from the stone face; he lets fly a mud ball that spatters the right eye and cheek of the old looker-on.

The boy laughs and goes whistling “ee-ee-ee ee-ee-ee.” The stone face stands silent, seeming to clutch a secret.