Carl Sandburg

The Abracadabra Boys

The abracadabra boys—have they been in the stacks and cloisters? 
     Have they picked up languages for throwing into chow mein 
Have they been to a sea of jargons and brought back jargons? Their 
     salutations go: Who cometh? and, It ith I cometh.
They know postures from impostures, pistils from pustules, to hear
     them tell it. They foregather and make pitty pat with each other 
     in Latin and in their private pig Latin, very ofay.
They give with passwords. “Who cometh?” “A kumquat cometh.” 
     “And how cometh the kumquat?” “On an abbadabba, ancient 
     and honorable sire, ever and ever on an abbadabba.”
Do they have fun? Sure—their fun is being what they are, like our 
     fun is being what we are—only they are more sorry for us being 
     what we are than we are for them being what they are.
Pointing at you, at us, at the rabble, they sigh and say, these abraca
     dabra boys, “They lack jargons. They fail to distinguish between 
     pustules and pistils. They knoweth not how the kumquat cometh.”