.. o home. Final Draft Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), was an American poet, biographer, and balladeer. He was a writer, famous for his free-verse style (Carl Sandburg, 222). He focused on the people and places of modern American life. Sandburg wrote what is regarded as the definitive biography of Abraham Lincoln.
He was even invited to address the joint session and to be honored, when the houses of Congress came together on Feb. 12, 1959, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Lincoln. Sandburg was well known as a lecturer and singer (Carl Sandburg, 392). His craggy voice along with his guitar made him a great performer of folk songs. The two most impressive things about Carl Sandburg*s physical trait was his face and his incredible height, yet he was only about six feet tall.
He resembled an American Indian, the reddish skin over the craggy face, the high cheekbones, the narrow hips, and the broad shoulders. Someone said of him once that when he was young and dark he looked like a Sioux brave. Sandburg*s face was a unique phenomenon. No matter what the picture or photograph, his expressions were never the same. He did not have a set pose but was recognizable. Mrs.
Sandburg once remarked of him that during all these fifty-three years she*s known him, Carl has always had the same unruly shock of hair over his forehead, and the same habit of leaning forward like a fast-ball pitcher winding up and pulling the string on the batter (Golden, 23). Sandburg was born on Jan. 6, 1878, in Galesburg, Illinois, where his Swedish immigrant father had settled some years before. He grew up in Galesburg, a town of 15,000 residents in his childhood. He went to the Galesburg public school for four years, and to Swedish Lutheran summer school.
At age 13, he finished the eighth grade and had to go to work. His first job was driving a milk wagon, and as he drove along, he recited his favorite pieces of prose and verse. Later he worked as a bootblack and porter in a local barber shop, where he listened to the customers* talk about local history and arguments about politics, and became involved in the affairs of his state. One of his important jobs Carl held to support himself through college was *call man* for the Galesburg Fire Department. He slept at the firehouse and was depended upon to leave his college classroom if the fire whistle blew during the daytime. The pay was ten dollars a month. Sandburg would read books durin! g the free times he had, and one of the reasons that Sandburg became a great writer was because of the fact that he read a lot.
Sandburg bought second-hand books which fitted into his hip pocket for ten cents each. He bought books of famous American authors, such as Daniel Defoe, Washington Irving, Joseph Addison, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Ralph Waldo Emerson (Carl Sandburg, 222). When the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898, Sandburg enlisted. He did not go to the war because of his pride for the country, he went to the war simply because he wanted to do something, he wanted to accomplish something. He served in the first Puerto Rico campaign; and he was the war correspondent for the Galesburg Evening Mail.
When the war ended in September of 1898, Sandburg went back to school. He entered Lombard College, a local institution, receiving free tuition for his war service. But in 1902, at the time of examinations and diplomas, he wandered off and was never graduated. He was the captain of the basketball team, and the editor of the college newspaper. It was at Lombard that Sandburg began to think of himself as a writer, particularly as a poet.
But his first professional writing was in advertising, politics, and journalism. Philip Green Wright, professor of English at Lombard, published Sandburg*s first little book, In Reckless Ecstasy (1904) (Ca! rl Sandburg, 392). Sandburg took up the guitar in 1904, and he practiced music daily. Sandburg*s voice is heavy, but there*s a haunting quality about it. His voice is almost entirely untrained, with just a few lessons he had came from a choirmaster in Galesburg. Public singing started for Carl when he was a boy in Galesburg.
Later he joined the nontouring Lombard College Glee Club. He also sang with the Berrien Street barbershop harmonizers downtown (Golden, 119). What really developed Carl*s voice and music, however, was the inspired knowledge of his guitar playing. For two years after college, Sandburg was a genuine hobo. He took temporary jobs on newspapers and peddling stereoscopic views.
This is the time for Sandburg that as he was roaming about the country, north, south, east, and west, he got to know America in the songs of her farmhands, cowboys, rivermen, and Negro stevedores, playing his guitar as he went. Sandburg also became an organizer for the German-oriented Social-Democratic Party in Wisconsin, ending this political phase of his early career as secretary to the Socialist mayor of Milwaukee (1910-1912). In 1908, Sandburg married Lillian Steichen and, to support his growing family, he went into advertising, wrote features for the Milwaukee Journal and Daily News, and worked hard at his free verse poetry which influenced by Walt Whitman (Carl Sandburg, 392). In 1913, Sandburg moved to Chicago. As a newspaper writer for the Day Book and the Chicago Daily News and as a frequent contributor to the magazine Poetry, which awarded him its Levinson prize in 1914, he made himself as a significant voice in American Literature. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Sandburg was sent abroad by the Newspaper Enterprise Association as special correspondent in Sweden and Norway (Carl Sandburg, 223). When he returned from Europe, Sandburg began to work on his poems.
His first full-sized volume, Chicago Poems (1916), established him as the poet of that industrial city. In the succeeding volumes, Cornhuskers (1918), Smoke and Steel (1920), Slabs of the Sunburnt West (1922), and Good Morning, America (1928), he became the bard of the Midwest. Sandburg was successor to Walt Whitman as the proclaimer of the American spirit. It was an impression confirmed by The People, Yes (1936), a piece of poetry about social history, folklore, and political faith. It was a declaration of confidence in the American working man (Carl Sandburg, 223). While Sandburg was working hard on his poems, he did not stop collecting Lincoln materials for his great biography.
In 1926 his Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years came out in two volumes, which financially helped the Sandburg family. Sandburg then labored 16 years more to bring out Abraham Lincoln: The War Years (4 Vol., 1939), which won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1940. He also wrote another Civil War volume, Storm over the Land in 1942. Meanwhile, he did not stop working on the folk songs, he wrote The American Songbag, a collection of folk songs in 1927 (Carl Sandburg, 392). Sandburg is regarded as the representative poet of the West.
He rose from the humblest beginnings and did not fear hard work. He celebrated for himself a new technique in poetry, celebrating industrial and agricultural America (Carl Sandburg, 223). During the later year of Sandburg*s career, he moved from Illinois to North Carolina and continued to write. He died at his ranch in Flat Rock, North Carolina on July 22, 1967 (Carl Sandburg, 223). *Chicago* One of Sandburg*s best known poems, *Chicago* was written in 1914 (Golden, 163).
Sandburg wrote this poem during the Great Depression when people were losing money and had no jobs. People at the time were working for just a few cents an hour, they were living a horrible life. The subject of this poem is the city Chicago. Sandburg described the city as dirty and ugly because of the pollution and the factories. He described the city as smoky, dusty, stormy and husky.
He also said in the poem that Chicago was the *City of the Big Shoulders:*, this meant that Chicago was a big industrial city. People in the city were poor and hungry. He described the workers in the city as *Tool makers*, and *Stackers of Wheat*, they would have to labor 14 hours a day just to keep their families alive. Sandburg*s tone is very low and depressing. Sandburg used imagery to perfection when he wrote *Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,*. Sandburg also used lots of similes and metaphors such as when he wrote *Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness,*.
The overall theme of the poem *Chicago* was to portray the brutality and ugliness that Sandburg saw in American cities. The poem also pays tribute to the energy and power of modern industry . *Fog* The poem *Fog* is just one of the eight hundred and forty-six poems. This poem has earned Sandburg hundreds of dollars, this was a lot of money back then. This poem was written when Sandburg had done his piece for the Chicago Day book, He rambled down to the lake and went over to the courthouse for an interview with a juvenile court judge, he had to wait half an hour.
While waiting, Sandburg wrote this *masterpiece*, *Fog* (Golden, 149). The subject of the poem *Fog* is obviously the fog above the city. Sandburg is comparing the fog to the cat when he wrote *The fog comes on little cat feet*. He compares the fog to the cat because cats moves pretty fast, and the fog is also moving at a fast speed just like the cat. By using this metaphor, Sandburg creates a clear imagery of what he sees, and this image seems to be very clear to us. Sandburg also described the fog as a cat sitting on the sky and looking down at the harbor and city. One of the reason that he made this comparison is maybe because that the fog really looked like a cat sitting on it*s haunches, or maybe he saw a cat running around when he was watching the sky.
This poem did not have a particular theme. It is just simply a descriptive poem which describes the fog. The tone of the poem is somewhat restless and impatient. It seems that Sandburg was trying to get things done in a hurry and go home.