Where storms and stars come from

This poem has been sitting among my drafts for ages; I've been waiting for a reason to post it. I don't really have one now, except that it's a fine poem and deserves an airing, with or without a pretext.

Carl Sandburg, I've learned, grew up poor, the American child of Swedish immigrants. He left school at thirteen and became a drifter, then a soldier. He eventually made his way to college, where an encouraging teacher drew out his poetic gift. He went on to publish six books and eleven poetry collections, and to win three Pulitzers. He wrote books about Abraham Lincoln, and about the photographer Edward Steichen, who was his brother-in-law. He also played the banjo.

This poem, “The Young Sea,” is 99 years old. Here the sea, earth's most ancient thing, is recast as young and restless - stormy as youth, and yet the progenitor of stars. 

The sea is never still.
It pounds on the shore
Restless as a young heart,

The sea speaks
And only the stormy hearts
Know what it says:
It is the face
        of a rough mother speaking.

The sea is young.
One storm cleans all the hoar
And loosens the age of it.
I hear it laughing, reckless.

They love the sea,
Men who ride on it
And know they will die
Under the salt of it

Let only the young come,
       Says the sea.
Let them kiss my face
   And hear me.
I am the last word
   And I tell
Where storms and stars come from.