Basket Summary and Analysis by Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg- Carl Sandburg was an American writer born in 1878. He had claimed three Pulitzer Prizes during his lifetime. He was a celebrated figure in the literary arena of his time. Carl was primarily famous for his ‘Chicago Poem’, ‘Cornhuskers’ and ‘Stone and Steel.’ He was distinguished because he was well-known for his depiction of America. His famous written biography on Abraham Lincoln had earned him various praises of apt recognition. Being a native American, his works were found to be rotating around the premises of America. He was fond of his country and used to write children books touring across the country. He was well-known for his free-verse poems.

Poetic Devices in Basket-

Speaking as a practice is compared to the fine choice of apples is regarded as an Simile. Similes are metaphors are both used for comparison but because of the word “like” used in the text, it becomes a simile. Anaphora can be stated as one of the poetic device used in the poem due to the emphasis on the clause “speak.”


Summary of Basket-

The poem comes under the heading of short poems due to its two-line setup. The poet concludes even before he introduces the subject of matter to the readers. The poem itself provides a wealthy observation by the poet. The poet seems to acknowledge a certain person as if intimating an indirect message under the cover of morals. He urges the readers to be selective and thoughtful while they speak, so they might not look foolish and unworthy. Words form the most important part of the human conversation. One cannot think of existing without expression. Words help us to express our feelings and thoughts to others and thus, forms the very part of our existence. One cannot differentiate us from our words. So the poet being a realist says it is necessary that we chose our words wisely because chances are that we fail ourselves in expression while our thoughts are clearly meant to be in contrary. The poet might as well direct this message to the critique of the 19th century claiming that words can do wonders but they can also be a destroyer for an artist. Literature though is a production of words, one cannot deny the importance of the speaker with the utmost understanding of expression. Novels, poems, short stories leaves a severe impact on us due to its profound selection of words and the description that follows with it. Further, to get a fair idea, the poet gives an example of an “old woman over a bushel of apples.” Inarticulate as it is, there can be several interpretations of the text. Here, the poet wants to convey that old woman as shrewd as they never fail to gather the finest of apples from the trees. They have become so confident in their selection that they seem to know more about the fruit than the fruit itself. Experience provides us with a keen eye of choice, separating the finest from the less appropriate and then collecting in a bushel for use. Similarly, the poet says that one should be as precise and honest when it comes to speaking. Words should be revised as the selection of the apples done for the basket by the old woman, who has much experience of its quality and colour. So one must prove oneself worthy and responsible, and be intellectual in the usage of words.

Also Read:  Flux Summary and Analysis by Carl Sandburg

Tone of Basket-

The poet seems to be quite polite in addressing the readers while pronouncing an idea of crude matter. To educate the readers on their intellectual is a rare matter and is always open to criticism. Thus, the poet tries to be polite in his approach. By giving an example on the latter end, he tries to make his intentions clear and float at the same time.
Conclusion- The conclusion extracted from the text is simple yet elaborate. The poet expresses the importance of the choice of words in particular with situations and moods. One can be remarked as a fool who doesn’t know the skill of expression at the right time and at the right place. The quality of the apples is a great matter of concern for the old woman just as words should be a great matter of concern in the conversation.  The poet doesn’t follow the classic rule of bounding the poem in the meter. His free-verse is enough to convey the full message in compact terminology.