Poetry Blog

Week of February 1 This week we are thinking about the meaning of a poem. On the "Poetry Podcast" page is a podcast I created of the poem "Boxes and Bags," by Carl Sandburg. Please click on the "Poetry Podcast" page to listen to the poem. Write a response back on the blog page explaining what you think the poem or a line from the poem means.

Boxes and Bags

by Carl Sandburg

The bigger the box the more it holds.

Empty boxes hold the same as empty heads.

Enough small empty boxes thrown into a big empty fill it full.

A half empty box says, "Put more in." A big enough box could hold the world.

Elephants need big boxes to hold a dozen elephant handkerchiefs.

Fleas fold little handkerchiefs and fix them nice and neat in flea handkerchief boxes.

Bags lean against each other and boxes stand independent.

Boxes are square with corners unless round with circles.

Box can be piled on box till the whole works comes tumbling.

Pile box on box and the bottom box says, "If you will kindly take notice you will see it all rests on me."

Pile box on box and the top one says, "Who falls farthest if or when we fall? I ask you."

Box people go looking for boxes and bag people go looking for bags.


Attachment:

 boxes_and_bags_2.m4a
I think the whole poem means that some people think boxes are better and some people think bags are better. Another way to think about it is all people are different and no two people are the same
I think the poem's basic message is knowledge. An empty head can learn more than a full one or half filled one. Don't waste you're room with something useless like "handkerchiefs."
I think that this whole poem is comparing boxes and bags to people. I think that it means "box people" have a "square" personality and they are always looking for more. I think that "bag people" are more dependent on others and maybe aren't as thirsty for learning. Also I think that when Sandberg says, "Box people go looking for boxes and bag people go look for bags," he means that people tend to hang out with people that are just like them.
I think this poem means that no matter how big or small your head is, you can still fill it with knowledge. You can always get smarter even if you have a small head. It just means that you are different from everybody else. Nothing is wrong with that.
I think that this poem means that you should keep learning even though sometimes you don't get it and you want to stop, but you should go on to learn more so then you know more. I also think that it means you can keep filling your head with knowledge and your head will never be full.
I think that it means that everyone can learn if they want to, no matter what problems you face you can still learn. Even if you go to the best school ever, that doesn't mean that you just get the knowledge. You have to want it, it doesn't just come to you.
The line I chose from the poem is, "Empty boxes hold the same as empty heads." I think it meant that if the box holds nothing it's useless. The same goes for empty heads, they're useless.
The line that I chose is, "Box people go looking for boxes and bag people go looking for bags." I think that this line means that if you are interested in a certain thing then it is fine to like that and follow your own interests.
I think that the line "The bigger the box the more it holds," means that there is more room in the bigger box so it will hold bigger and heavier stuff.
I think this poem means that if you have an empty head then you are useless. I also think that this poem means that no one is the same.
I think that the last line, "Box people go looking for boxes and bag people go looking for bags," means that different types of people hang out with the people that are like them.
I think that the poem is just a funny poem. Like the line,"Elephants need big boxes to hold a dozen elephant handkerchiefs." It may also mean the bigger, the more it can hold.
I think this poem is comparing boxes and bags to people, we are all different. Here is an example, some people are independent and others are not.
I think that Carl Sandburg picked an interesting thing to write about. I think he is trying to tell us about what happens to us and our life. He's just using boxes and bags as metaphors for people even though it's also a funny poem because it kind of doesn't make so much sense either.
I think this poem means that different people have different opinions about whether boxes hold more or whether bags hold more.
I think that the line, "Empty boxes hold the same as empty heads" means that an empty box has room to hold something, and an empty head has room for knowledge.
I think the poem means even if you think you know everything there is still room for more.
I agree with School Geek. This is comparing how boxes (really your head) holds knowledge. One line states, "Empty boxes hold the same as empty heads." When I interpreted this, it meant that even though boxes can be 10 (even more) times bigger than our heads, we can still be left baffled.
I think that this whole poem is comparing boxes and bags to people. I think that it means "box people" have a "square" personality and they are always looking for more. I think that "bag people" are more dependent on others and maybe aren't as thirsty for learning. Also I think that when Sandberg says, "Box people go looking for boxes and bag people go look for bags," he means that people tend to hang out with people that are just like them.[/quote] This is the exact same thing that I thought this poem meant. Boxes stand alone, or are independent and bags lean on one another and have more of a dependent personality. Still, boxes sometimes fall down and need help to get back up.
That was a weird poem. One thing I noticed was that the poem is called "Boxes and Bags" but bags are only mentioned twice. The line from the poem that I chose is "Empty boxes hold the same as empty heads." I agree with pinkprincess#1 in saying that your head won't fill itself with knowledge, you have to fill it yourself. Just like an empty box.
I didn't really see much rhythm or rhyme in this poem, but it had good descriptiveness. I thought that when it said "empty boxes hold the same as empty heads," it actually was speaking about not a very smart person. I think the same goes with the line, "the bigger the box the more it holds." I thought that line meant the older the person, the smarter he/she is.
Ladybug Lover said:
I think the whole poem means that some people think boxes are better and some people think bags are better. Another way to think about it is all people are different and no two people are the same

i totally agree with you. this was an awesome post. keep up the good work!!!