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Carl Sandburg: Prayers of Steel

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 to the central girders.

Let me be the great nail holding a skyscraper through blue nights into white stars.

Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), an American poet, won his first Pulitzer Prize in 1940 for a four-volume biography, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, which followed Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years. His second Pulitzer came in 1951 for Complete Poems.