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Carl Sandburg Doubts Love With The Word "Maybe"

Updated on January 23, 2016
Kathy Kimpel Photo on Flickr
Kathy Kimpel Photo on Flickr


Maybe he believes me, maybe not.

Maybe I can marry him, maybe not.

Maybe the wind on the prairie,

The wind on the sea, maybe,

Somebody somewhere, maybe, can tell.

I will lay my head on his shoulder

And when he asks me I will say yes,


Sunrise Over Chase Prairie- credit Blaine Eckberg
Sunrise Over Chase Prairie- credit Blaine Eckberg

Does this poem remind you of picking daisy petals from a flower?

Like a child who is unsure of love, the poem vacillates back and forth with a desire and wanting, yet not knowing for sure.

When we are young, we looked for love and don't really know if we have found it.

When a suitor comes along and attempts to sweep you off your feet, do you fly?

When you speak the words of love and tell the other that you love him or her, does the person believe you to the core, or are they unsure?

The answer we find in the word, "maybe," because we don't know absolutely.

When you say the words of love, do you believe them when you speak them?

Perhaps, it is not believing when they have been spoken to you.

Both parties share the same insecure hesitancy.

Next the commitment and the answer to the question.

Will she say yes? Will you say yes? Will he say yes?

Will he even ask? So far, this mental gymnastics ponders the question.

Back and forth it goes, maybe I can and maybe not, can I tie the knot?

Ovarian Cysts image by Debby Bruck
Ovarian Cysts image by Debby Bruck
Looking west across the prairie near McAllaster Butte in Logan County, Kansas.  The dig site is in a large gully, just right of center, below the truck.
Looking west across the prairie near McAllaster Butte in Logan County, Kansas. The dig site is in a large gully, just right of center, below the truck.

Where does the wind fit in that blows across the prairie?

Why have we brought in this imagery of a landscape pregnant with meaning?

At the time of Sandburg's writing in the 1930s and 1940s what was developing across the land?

Were their dust-bowls and unpredictable weather?

Was it the the romantic adventurer and traveler who would see such sights on the outposts of the prairies?

Was it simply because the winds were unpredictable, that they could kick up at anytime and then die down quietly again?


Big Sur. The Official Blog of The Otter Project
Big Sur. The Official Blog of The Otter Project

Once again we have the imagery of the sea.

This time, the wind blows across the sea, instead of the prairie moving the grains of wheat and the sheaves of corn.

What is the difference between these two gusts of wind that move the waves or kick up dust?

Does the wind intimate this inconsistency and wavering indecisiveness no matter on land or water?

Maybe, maybe not.

When meditating and giving yourself the possibilities for healing, opportunity and growth, we say, "Maybe, maybe not." This way the door to the answer remains open.

At the right time we can step through that doorway.

We can set sail or ride the open trail when that voice calls.

When you don't know the answer, when I don't know the answer we wonder if someone, somewhere does have the answer. We want them to tell us, so we can be sure and receive confirmation of the final decision.

Finally, playing with the actual event, when we sit close and rub our skin next to the other, will we know then?


Another Poem by Carl Sandburg

Read The Sea Chest also references the sea. Is it the same or different?

About Love

Are you decisive?

See results

All rights reserved, © copyright Debby Bruck 2012-15

About the Author

This Hubpages blog ruminates on the uncertain, on love, on the possibilities of love and the question that has not yet been asked for a commitment. The answer let open in "Maybe" of Carl Sandburg.

Debby Bruck, CHOM loves to write about various topics on Hubpages. As a graphic designer she loves to create compositions with the elements of design. Debby is the founder of Homeopathy World Community a social network of professional homeopaths enlightening the world to the healing powers of energy medicines. She hosts numerous radio shows each week on a variety of health topics. Debby believes that homeopathy is the wave of the future that provides hope and healing to those who have tried every other approach. Follow Debby on Twitter



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    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      Maybe. . .

    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 6 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Very nicely done, Debby. I like the sunflower at the beginning and the perpetual doubt of the human condition. Does life mean something beyond itself? Maybe.

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      Eddy ~ Thanks for lovely greeting! Wishing you the same. Love, Debby

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      You are indeed so very gifted.

      Take care and enjoy your day.


    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      Dear Bob ~ What a true honor having you post this lovely response. You made my day and provided additional commentary on the meaning of our words. Blessings, Debby

      Hello Raciniwa ~ Ah! What a beautiful thought. I appreciate learning how others ask for guidance in situations of not knowing. Blessings, Debby

    • raciniwa profile image

      raciniwa 6 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      somehow, when i don't know the answer i'll seek for it and ask for spiritual guidance...well said it here... so precise...

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      This is an exquisite little poem by a master.

      "Maybe" is one of the most enigmatic words in the English language: it offers hope, despair and another host of human responses.

      It is the teenager's lengua franca; the adults way to temporize without causing pain or committing themselves .

      But "Maybe people" often stay that way...

      Lovely. thoughtful article

      Bob x

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      Hello Dear Breen ~ You are correct, we do give ourselves room to breath, however, feeling unsure is not pleasant. When we don't know an answer, either an inner one ourselves, or from the other's perspective, then we fell unsettled in our self esteem. To know "for sure" gives a welcome relief and inner happiness. Blessings, Debby

    • profile image

      Breen Bergstrome 6 years ago

      Yes indeed. Very well done.

      Love this Debby. There is a lot of commitment in yes and no, and room to breathe in maybe, maybe not.

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      Dear Chip - I'll take that as a compliment. Many thanks. Hugs, Debby

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 6 years ago from Space Coast

      Dang, you can write!

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      Thank you for visiting, Asma and giving thanks. Debby

    • asmaiftikhar profile image

      asmaiftikhar 6 years ago from Pakistan

      Beautiful expression with the touch of deepness.Thanks for sharing.