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Poems About Ideas

Table of Contents

Mother Helps with the ABC's
Mother Helps with the ABC's
by Jessie Willcox Smith
  1. The Thinker by Berton Braley
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  1. The Thinker

    by Berton Braley. Did it ever occur to you that somebody’s thought is responsible for everything that is done or made?
    The clothespin and the towering building alike had to be planned by some one. There is a Thinker, a Dreamer, a Planner, for every tool that has been made, for every appliance, every labor-saving device, for every project that demands manual work, or labor with the hands, to accomplish it.
    The Thinker, then, means the Inventor, the Discoverer, or the man with brains, who as superintendent or construction engineer sets tasks for the man wdio works with his hands and gives the necessary directions to have the task done.
    Here is a poem in which big thoughts challenge you in every line. See if you can find them.

    Back of the beating hammer
    By which the steel is wrought,
    Back of the workshop’s clamor
    The seeker may find the Thought,
    The thought that is ever Master
    Of iron and steam and steel,
    That rises above disaster
    And tramples it under heel.

    The drudge may fret and tinker
    Or labor with lusty blows,
    But back of him stands the Thinker,
    The clear-eyed man who knows;
    For into each plow or saber,
    Each piece and part and whole,
    Must go the brains of labor,
    Which gives the work a soul.

    Back of the motor’s humming,
    Back of the bells that sing,
    Back of the hammer’s drumming,
    Back of the cranes that swing,
    There is the Eye which scans them,
    Watching through stress and strain,
    There is the Mind which plans them —
    Back of the brawn, the Brain.

    Might of the roaring boiler,
    Force of the engine’s thrust,
    Strength of the sweating toiler,
    Greatly in these we trust,
    But back of them stands the schemer,
    The Thinker who drives things through,
    Back of the job — the Dreamer
    Who’s making the dream come true.

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