Carl Sandburg’s Poem “Grass” expresses a timeless behavior of humanity; people rely on the earth to clean up their messes. Through remix I can bring this theme into the twenty-first century to make the poem more relevant and believable to today’s audience.
The original poem, “Grass” was published at the end of WWI in 1918, so it makes sense for the author to use warfare as the device in which human kind uses earth to wipe the blood off its hands. Sandburg repeats the phrases, “shovel them under and let me work” and “I am the grass” to drive home to the reader that humans continue to treat our planet and those who live in it with a selfish disregard. Further expanding on this theme, the poet included the scene where passengers on a passing train ask the conductor, “What place is this? Where are we now?” to illustrate the ability the earth has to cover over our wrongs so well that only two to ten years later, the site of massive bloodshed is unrecognizable.
The original poem uses battles and warfare to illustrate the earth’s “Giving Tree” nature. To bring this poem up to date I replaced the names of the battles with the sites of human triggered natural disasters such as the Gulf of Mexico and Tokaimura. I also made the earth possessive of the bodies, as if we are property of the earth. I did this to bring out the true nature of how our planet gives us everything, cleans up our messes, then selflessly gives more gives us more.
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