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Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg Carl Sandburg was Pulitzer Prize winning poet, biographer to Abraham Lincoln, novelist, journalist, children’s author, and collector of American folk songs. He grew up in the fields of Illinois, traveled from Kansas to Puerto Rico, campaigned for the socialist party, and was an avid Chicago advocate. Two sources had this to say about Sandburg’s poetry: “Carl Sandburg’s poetry expresses the hearty, earthy nature of America, finding both soft and harsh beauty amongst her people (1).” “He uses precise and vivid images to portray the energy and brutality of American urban industrial life (5).” Carl Sandburg is a poet whose life is worth remembering. Sandburg’s parents, August and Clara Johnson, immigrated to America from the north of Sweden. Sandburg’s father, a blacksmith’s helper for the nearby Burlington and Quincy Railroad in Chicago, purchased a small family cottage in 1873 (3). After encountering several August Johnsons in his job for the railroad, his father renamed the family. In a three-room cottage at 313 East Third Street, Carl Sandburg was born on January 6, 1878 (3). Carl was the second of seven children and was called “Charlie” by his family. In 1879, the Sandburgs sold the cottage in favor of a larger house in Galesburg (3). The Sandburgs were very poor, causing young Carl to be a hard worker. He quit school after graduating eighth grad at Seventh Ward School in 1891, and at the age of thirteen, he spent a decade working a variety of odd jobs to help support his family (3 & 4). He earned money washing dishes, delivering milk, laying brick, and shining shoes in Galesburg’s Union Hotel (2&3). In 1897, at the age of seventeen, he traveled west to Kansas as a hobo (4). He gained experience by working and traveling which greatly influenced his writing and political view. As he traveled, he witnessed the harsh distinction between rich and poor. This instilled in him ...

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Carl Sandburg. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 14:17, August 29, 2014, from