Chicago: the Legacy of Carl Sandburg

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  • Topic: Poetry, Carl Sandburg, Verse
  • Pages : 3 (1113 words )
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  • Published : October 8, 1999
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The Legacy of Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg may be one of our most influential poets in American history, he knew the American working man and his necessities. Sandburg used his poetry to explicate to the economy how life is, can, and could be. Carl Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Illinois January 6, 1878 to Swedish immigrant parents with the names of August and Clara Johnson. His family was extremely poor. Carl left school at the age of thirteen to work odd jobs from bricklaying to dish washing to earn money to support the family. At seventeen, he left home to travel to Kansas as a hobo, there he turned to the army for help. He served eight months in Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American war.

After the war, Carl attended Lombard College in his hometown. There he was recognized by what may have been the most important person in Sandburg's life. He met Professor Philip Green Wright.

Proffessor Wright paid for the publication of Carl Sandburg's first volume of poetry, a small pamphlet called Reckless Ecstasy in 1904.

Carl Sandburg was not known to the literary world until the age of thirty-six. In 1914, he won a prize for a group of poems including the now famous "Chicago". Two years later, he published the volume "Chicago Poems", and with five more volumes of his poetry, "Corn Huskers", "Smoke and Steel", "Slabs of the Sunburnt West", "Good Morning America", and "The People Yes" were gathered together in "Complete Poems", and were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1951. Sandburg is also the author of the children's classic "Rootabaga Stories", a collection of folk songs, "The American Songbag", a novel called Remembrance Rock, an autobiography named Always the Young Strangers , and a six volume biography of Abraham Lincoln the last four volumes of which received the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1940.

Carl Sandburg's technique used in all of his work is free verse celebrating industrial and agricultural era...
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