Doors

By Carl Sandburg 1878–1967 Carl Sandburg
An open door says, “Come in.”
A shut door says, “Who are you?”
Shadows and ghosts go through shut doors.
If   a door is shut and you want it shut,
     why open it?
If   a door is open and you want it open,
     why shut it?
Doors forget but only doors know what it is
     doors forget.

NOTES: This poem originally appeared in "Poetry Not Written for Children that Children Might Nevertheless Enjoy," by Lemony Snicket.

“Doors,” from Wind Song, is copyright © 1957 by Carl Sandburg, and renewed 1985 by Margaret Sandburg, Janet Sandburg, and Helga Sandburg Crile, reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Source: Poetry (September 2013).

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This poem originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2013
 Carl  Sandburg

Biography

"Trying to write briefly about Carl Sandburg," said a friend of the poet, "is like trying to picture the Grand Canyon in one black and white snapshot." His range of interests was enumerated by his close friend, Harry Golden, who, in his study of the poet, called Sandburg "the one American writer who distinguished himself in five fields—poetry, history, biography, fiction, and music."

Sandburg composed his poetry primarily in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, Mythology & Folklore, Ghosts & the Supernatural

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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