Do the Gute: Prayers of Steel

Today is National Prayer Day or something… maybe it’s a National Day of Prayer. I’m not a big believer in recitations of memorized dogma, but if prayer is reflection and spiritual inquiry, I’m all for it. So here is a poem by Carl Sandburg. I am unsure of his own relationship to the almighty, but this is the sort of prayer I can get behind. He’s not asking for anything but the power to transform the world. Poems can be crowbars, wresting the old bricks free from the mortar; and even children’s books can be steel spikes, pinning up the skyscrapers of a child’s mental landscape. They can be, and they ought to be.

Lay me on an anvil, O God.
Beat me and hammer me into a crowbar.
Let me pry loose old walls.
Let me lift and loosen old foundations.

Lay me on an anvil, O God.
Beat me and hammer me into a steel spike.
Drive me into the girders that hold a skyscraper together.
Take red-hot rivets and fasten me into the central girders.
Let me be the great nail holding a skyscraper through blue nights into white stars.

2 thoughts on “Do the Gute: Prayers of Steel

  1. Great post, Kurtis. Love it! Love how you connected Sandburg’s poem to children’s books.
    I did not know there was a Nat’l Day of Prayer.
    That makes for a busy week:
    May the 4th (be with you), Cinco de Mayo..
    I plan on pre-ordering Mamba Point today at our local (actually, only) indie.
    My ARC must have its ‘real’ version as a companion. 🙂

  2. Thanks, Dawn… for supporting your local indie and your not-so-local author. But what bookstore? Might be a former haunt of mine. I remember two bookstores I liked in Portland; one features a coffee shop… in a bookstore! In 1993 that was still a novelty, and I thought it was brilliant. There was also a small crowded one I liked; I can’t remember the name of either.

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