In "Primer Lesson" what does it mean, "They wear long boots."Is "They" the words themselves?

Expert Answers
kimfuji eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Carl Sandburg says "They" he means the words. Actually, he is cautioning writers not to show off using long non referential words in poetry. It is not easy to call them back means the reader cannot remember them becuase they do not conjure up an image. When he says "they wear long boots" he means they cover up too much. The words that wear long boots, as he says, do not refer to a specific place or situation, so they are not noticed by the reader.

He's actually giving advice about writing poetry with strong images by not using "proud" words.


Look out how you use proud words.
When you let proud words go, it is
not easy to call them back.
They wear long boots, hard boots; they
walk off proud; they can't hear you calling—
Look out how you use proud words.
—Carl Sandburg, American poet and essayist, Primer Lesson, 1922

daballer15 | Student

r u a hediot