poet Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks

#45 on top 500 poets

Garbageman: The Man With The Orderly Mind

What do you think of us in fuzzy endeavor, you whose directions are

sterling, whose lunge is straight?

Can you make a reason, how can you pardon us who memorize the rules and never score?

Who memorize the rules from your own text but never quite transfer them to the game,

Who never quite receive the whistling ball, who gawk, begin to absorb the crowd's own roar.


Is earnest enough, may earnest attract or lead to light;

Is light enough, if hands in clumsy frenzy, flimsy whimsically, enlist;

Is light enough when this bewilderment crying against the dark shuts down the shades?

Dilute confusion. Find and explode our mist.

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

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Comments about Garbageman: The Man With The Orderly Mind by Gwendolyn Brooks

  • Khairul AhsanKhairul Ahsan (10/4/2020 11:47:00 PM)

    'Is light enough? ' - A point to ponder!
    Congratulations on the poem's selection as the 'Modern Poem of the Day'!

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  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (10/4/2020 11:18:00 PM)

    Dilute confusion. Find and explode our mist.....yeah; reduce the confusion of universal welfare, universal unity and humanity; delete the misty racism by delineation divided nations; please let us be one over all the world; great poem penned on to be the human's orderly mind

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  • L Milton Hankins (10/4/2020 12:30:00 PM)

    I'm sure many learned poets consider this a great poem, but I simply do not get it. Ms. Brooks throws down so many images and none of them seem to relate to the title of the work.

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  • Deluke MuwanigwaDeluke Muwanigwa (10/4/2020 10:02:00 AM)

    I would not have known it was about the garbage man. I guess they are different this side

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  • Luis Estable (10/4/2020 3:30:00 AM)

    I will not go into this poem. It requires much writing to be just to it. There is much in these lines, but I will say that " how can you pardon us" is a statement in the form of a question around which the poem is based or revolves.

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  • Harago Harago (11/11/2019 10:32:00 AM)

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