“A Revolver”

by kelly on February 7, 2013


Rick Kogan writes in the Tribune about the remarkable timeliness of the newly discovered Carl Sandburg poem, “A Revolver.” Here is the poem, found by a volunteer at the rare book room in the U of I library.

A Revolver

Here is a revolver.

It has an amazing language all its own.

It delivers unmistakable ultimatums.

It is the last word.

A simple, little human forefinger can tell a terrible story with it.

Hunger, fear, revenge, robbery hide behind it.

It is the claw of the jungle made quick and powerful.

It is the club of the savage turned to magnificent precision.

It is more rapid than any judge or court of law.

It is less subtle and treacherous than any one lawyer or ten.

When it has spoken, the case can not be appealed to the supreme court, nor any mandamus nor any injunction nor any stay of execution in and interfere with the original purpose.

And nothing in human philosophy persists more strangely than the old belief that God is always on the side of those who have the most revolvers.


Could any words have more relevance to Chicago at this moment? If you aren’t sure, here is a catalog of the 509 human beings who were killed in our city in 2012.

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