Carl Sandburg was a master of all trades. In the early 20th century, the country was in desperate need of unity. As a poet, songwriter, and journalist he strove to ensure that all Americans had a sense of national pride. His works, like the Abraham Lincoln series, bonded citizens to the former leaders of America. Carl Sandburg had a major influence and impact on the development of American literature.
Even as an adolescent, Carl Sandburg was very proud of his background. He was the son of Swedish immigrants, although he was born in Galesburg, Illinois on January sixth, 1878. His family wasn’t incredibly rich, so in 1891 he left school, after only the eighth grade, to help support his family financially. He never found a stable job however, so he worked odd jobs like shining shoes, delivering papers, and laying brick. He got into the hobo lifestyle that was popular in America at the time, traveling by railroad and working random jobs. While working on various farms during the day, he realized that there was a vast gap between the rich and the poor of America. This experience led to his socialist beliefs and the reoccurring “common-man” theme in his poetry. Later, in 1898, when the Spanish-American War started Sandburg enlisted into the 6th Illinois Regiment. Although he spent many months in Puerto Rico, he never saw any action. The first twenty years of Sandburg’s life greatly shaped he man he became, and led to great success later in his life. After the war, Carl Sandburg returned to Galesburg, where his veteran rank gained him an admission in West Point Military Academy. He couldn’t pass the mathematics and grammar entrance exams; therefore he couldn’t attend the prestigious school. This setback did not stop his hunger for learning, so once again he returned to Galesburg and attended Lombard College. Sandburg didn’t earn a degree from Lombard, but he did acquire a new enthusiasm for reading and writing poetry. This new eagerness was inspired by Philip Green...
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