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Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by.
—  Carl Sandburg
Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
—  Carl Sandburg
I want to do the right thing, but often I don't know just what the right thing is. Every day I know I have come short of what I would like to have done. Yet as the years pass and I see the very world itself, with its oceans and mountains and plains, as something unfinished, a peculiar little satisfaction hunts out the corners of my heart. Sunsets and evening shadows find me regretful at task's undone, but sleep and the dawn and the air of the morning touch me with freshening hopes. Strange things blow in through my window on the wings of the night wind and I don't worry about my destiny.
—  Carl Sandburg
I am an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way.
—  Carl Sandburg
Time says hush: by the gong of time you live. Listen and you hear time saying you were silent long before you came to life and you will again be silent long after you leave it, why not be a little silent now? Hush yourself, noisy little man. Time hushes all: the gong of time rang for you to come out of the hush and you were born. The gong of time will ring for you to go back to the same hush you came from. Winners and losers, the weak and the strong, those who say little and try to say it well, and those who babble and prattle their lives away, time hushes all.
—  Carl Sandburg
To work hard, to live hard, to die hard, and then go to hell after all would be too damn hard.
—  Carl Sandburg
Slang is language that takes off its coat, spits on its hands, and goes to work.
—  Carl Sandburg
Poetry is the journal of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away.
—  Carl Sandburg
Look out how you use proud words. When you let proud words go, it is not easy to call them back. They wear long boots, hard boots; they walk off proud; they can't hear you calling. Look out how you use proud words.
—  Carl Sandburg
In the night the cabbages catch at the moon, the leaves drip silver, the rows of cabbages are a series of little silver waterfalls in the moon.
—  Carl Sandburg
I won't take my religion from any man who never works except with his mouth.
—  Carl Sandburg
Poetry is the opening and closing of a door leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during a moment.
—  Carl Sandburg

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