I am the people – the mob – the crowd – the mass. Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?

The crowd at Lincoln's second inauguration

The crowd at Lincoln's second inauguration; image from the Library of Congress

I am the People, the Mob

I AM the people — the mob–the crowd–the mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is
         done through me?

I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the
         world’s food and clothes.
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons
         come from me and the Lincolns.
I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand
         for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me.
I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted.
I forget. Everything but death comes to me and
         makes me work and give up what I have. And I
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red
         drops for history to remember. Then–I forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the
People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer
         forget who robbed me last year, who played me for
         a fool–then there will be no speaker in all the world
         say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a
         sneer in his voice or any far off smile of derision.
The mob–the crowd–the mass–will arrive then.

by Carl Sandburg (January 6, 1878 – July 22, 1967)
from his poem I am the People, the Mob can be found in many anthologies

Happy Birthday, Carl Sandburg

I wonder – what he would have thought of the Internet? :)

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