Original poem by Carl Sandburg
Pulitzer Prize winning poet Carl Sandburg’s poem “Revolver” was recently discovered in the University of Illinois’ Sandburg collection by retired professor Ernie Gullerud. Special thanks to Julie Owens for posting it on Facebook:
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 come in and interfere with the original purpose.
And nothing in human philosophy persists more strongly than the old belief that God is always on the side of those who have the most revolvers.
True. How do we reconcile this belief with God’s 6th Commandment: Thou shalt not kill? Carl Sandburg loved to rail against hypocrisy.