Carl Sanburg

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Carl Sanburg

Carl Sandburg was born on January 6, 1878 in Galesburg, Illinois. Carl Sandburg only attended public school until the age of 14, then he left the eighth grade and began to do small jobs around town. At the age of 18, he went on his first trip to the city of Chicago and within a year, he had joined a bunch of railroad stowaways who traveled the Midwest searching for work. Then he returned to Galesburg to join the military and serve in the Spanish-American War. He used this as an opportunity to continue his education. Because of his veteran status, he was able to enroll in Lombard College and receive free tuition, even though he had no actual real education past the eighth grade. After college, he moved to Wisconsin where he worked for a number of years in different positions, such as being a labor organizer and journalist. In 1912, he returned with his family to the Chicago-land area and began to write for a number of literary magazines. In 1914, he won the Levinson Prize, which established him as a new literary voice. Sandburg published his first major collection of poetry in 1916 with Chicago Poems. Readers viewed him as an idealist and full of joy of life. In 1939, he published the last volume of his Abraham Lincoln literature. He was criticized for having incorrect information in it but he ultimately won the Pulitzer Prize for Abraham Lincoln: The War Years. Seeking warmer climate, he moved to North Carolina in 1943, where he lived out the remainder of his life where Sandburg died in 1967.


1878- January 6, Carl Sandburg was born.1907-He leaves college to become a salesman and eventually to become an organizer and orator for the Social Democratic Party of Wisconsin.1908-Sandburg and Lilian Steichen were married.1914-His poems are published in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse. He wins a cash award for best poems of the year and is discovered by publisher Alfred Harcourt.1953-Sandburg writes prolifically and travels the country lecturing, reading poetry, and singing.1954-The one-volume Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and The War Years, is published.1967- July 22, Carl Sandburg dies.

1.One of Sandburg’s most epic works was his six-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln, which appeared between 1926 and 1939.2.One of Sandburg’s main achievements was to make Lincoln a richly human figure, rather than the flawless hero of post-Civil War writings. Sandburg delved deeply into the documentation, but also worked hard to find people who had known Lincoln.3.In "Chicago," perhaps Sandburg's most iconic poem, he offers an opening stanza that ranks fairly high in American poetry's Top 40 playlist.4.His Complete Poems (1950) won him a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.5.In 1939, the final four volumes, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, appeared, and the following year he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Biography.

Lasting Impact

In my opinion Carl Sandburg’s most significant work is “Chicago” because its reflects an industrial revolution type feel, and he grew up in the ending of the industrial revolution, so I think it’s fascinating how he uses a time in his life that’s historical in a way, in his work. “Chicago” is that kind of poem that doesn’t go out of style, yet also I think it’s that kind of poem that keeps its significance at the same time as time goes on, because it can show how as generation after generation passes by we’re still all working in a way to industrialize our lives. This poem’s contribution to the people of that time was magnificent because it gave a sort of internal morale in a remembering sort of fashion. It’s a grungingly beautiful poem because of the information that he put in it, and the way it is written.

Works Cited

“Angyal, Andrew J. “Carl Sandburg.” Critical Survey Of Poetry, Second Revised Edition (2002): 1. Biography Reference Center. Web. 19 Apr. 2014. .”Heitman, Danny. "Carl Sandburg a worksman poet." Ebsco. N.p., 2013. Web. 20 Apr. 2014.“.”“Badertscher, Eric. "Carl Sandburg." Carl Sandburg (9781429812658) (2005): 1. Biography Reference Center. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.” .”"Sandburg, Carl." FactCite: Lincoln Library Biographies Online. Lincoln Lib. P, 2012. Web. 20 Apr. 2014.”.”"Carl Sandburg." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 19 Apr. 2014..”

Carl Sandburg



“I am an idealist. I dont know where I'm going, but I'm on my way.” -Carl Sandburg


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