Sandburg, Carl. (1878 - 1967).
W o r k
< influenced by W. Whitman:
(a) rejected the genteel tradition in favour of free verse and a long open line
(b) the poet of the people: celebrated the vigorous, even violent common working-class men
- attempted to regenerate the native language of the nation
- collected folksongs: toured the country, read and sang the songs, accompanied himself on guitar, and interspersed his performances with a homespun philosophy
- his lifetime: criticized by E. Pound and R. Frost for his artlessness and lack of culture as ‘one of the roughs’ x now: valued for his part on the modernist revolution, and for the real power, vigour, and freshness of some individual poems
(a) Whitmanian Poems – “Chicago”: celebrates the industrial, fast-paced, and cruel Chicago (= the "Hog Butcher for the World") and the poor teeming in its streets x criticises capitalism
(b) Imagist Poems – “Fog”: juxtaposes images to represent the immediacy of reality
(c) Poems of Social Protest – “Graceland”
Chicago Poems (1914, 1916):
- 1st published in H. Monro’s Poetry
Smoke and Steel (1920)
The People, Yes (1936)
A l s o W r o t e :
- a 6-volume biography of A. Lincoln: won him the Pulitzer Prize for history and made him a celebrated public figure
- children poetry and stories, collections of folk-songs, non-fiction
"I am the people -- the mob -- the crowd -- the mass. / Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me"?
From "I am the People, the Mob" in Chicago Poems (1916).
(Photo: Al Ravenna. 1955. Source: Wikipedia).
AuthorCarl Sandburg. (1878 - 1967). American.
WorkPoet. Biographer. Author of Chicago Poems (1914).
GenresModernism. Imagism. Free verse.
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