Do You Fear The Wind?

by Hamlin Garland

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"But You'll Walk Like A Man!"

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Context: Hamlin Garland spent most of his boyhood days working on his family's farm in Iowa. His early experience made him aware of the drudgery of farm work, but later as a young man looking for work in the East, he discovered that the lot of the worker was not any better than that of the farmer. The poem "Do you Fear the Wind?" reflects the optimistic view that the poet eventually takes of his early experience. Rather than look on man's constant fight with the harsh elements of nature as a losing battle, the poet sees it as a strengthening force that will develop man to his fullest. The short poem is as follows:

Do you fear the force of the wind,
The slash of the rain?
Go face them and fight them,
Be savage again.
Go hungry and cold like the wolf,
Go wade like the crane:
The palms of your hands will thicken,
The skin of your cheek will tan,
You'll grow ragged and weary and swarthy,
But you'll walk like a man!

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