10.6.2022 – no matter how thick

no matter how thick
or how thin you slice it, it
is still baloney

On August 23, 1936, a book review in the New York Times was headlined, “Carl Sandburg Writes in the True Accent of the People; His New Poem Displays and Develops the Popular Sayings That Americans Live By THE PEOPLE, YES.”

According to Wikipedia, The People, Yes is a book-length poem written by Carl Sandburg and published in 1936. The 300 page work is thoroughly interspersed with references to American culture, phrases, and stories (such as the legend of Paul Bunyan). Published at the height of the Great Depression, the work lauds the perseverance of the American people in notably plain-spoken language. It was written over an eight-year period. It is Sandburg’s last major book of poetry.

Written in 1936.

Containing the sayings that Americans live by.

One of those lines is “No matter how thick or how thin you slice it, it’s still baloney.”

Published almost 100 years ago.

In the words of that old Virginia Slims cigarette commercial, “We’ve come a long way, baby!”

I watch the news.

I read the papers.

I look at the magazines.

All I can think is, No matter how thick or how thin you slice it, it’s still baloney.

Who knew you could say such a fine line of words and be quoting Carl Sandburg.

I can go down to the beach and stand with my feet in the Atlantic Ocean waves and face Algeria across the water.

Looking out, the entire country is behind me.

Turning around and I face the entire country all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

I want scream, “WAKE UP CANTCHA!!! GEE WHIZ”

The next line in the poem is, “I would if I could and I could if I would but if I couldn’t how could I, could you?”

I guess I will just turn away and look out.

At least I can see the sun rise.

If I said the poem, The People, Yes, was a bit nonsensical, it would only serve to make it more fit for reading today.

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