Blades of Grass was inspired by the poem Grass by Carl Sandburg (1878-1967):
Pile the bodies high at Austerliz and Waterloo,
Shovel them under and let me work-
I am the grass; I cover all.
And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor: What place is this?
Where are we now?
I am the grass.
Let me work.
Sandburg's poem addresses several aspects of war, among which the incalculable cost in human lives and the ease with which later generations forget that cost are forefront. Grass was published in 1918 after the end of World War I in the collection Cornhuskers. Sandburg was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for that body of work.
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