Carl Sandburg Essay

1510 words - 7 pages

“Joy always, Joy everywhere, Let Joy Kill you.” is a quote from Carl Sandburg’s poem “Joy”. His straightforward writing shows the simplicity of everyday life. Joy can be found anywhere and can make the actions and choices in life more meaningful. This theme of everyday life makes Carl Sandburg one of the most influential American poets of all time.
Carl Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Illinois on January 6, 1878. Both his parents were Swedish immigrants that moved to the America because jobs were scarce in Sweden. His father became a railroad worker in Burlington, Chicago and his mother was originally a housekeeper in Sweden and became a housewife in America. His family stayed in America for most of the time and rarely visited Sweden. His family eventually grew and he became the second kid out of seven (EIU). As a child Carl enjoyed visiting the prairie. He never enjoyed school or anything related to literature. He decided at the age of thirteen that he did not want to attend school anymore so he quit school. After this he began to drive a milk wagon. At the age of fourteen until seventeen he worked at the Union Hotel barbershop in Galesburg. Carl loved to work. He was dedicated to his work and serving others. When he turned twenty Carl volunteered to go into the military during the Spanish American War. Although he never actually went to into fighting section he still served as a U.S. soldier. Carl eventually came home. He had no job and was unemployed. Carl began writing short poems when he started West Point University. While he was at West Point he took the math exam and failed it. He went back home within a short amount of time to Galesburg, Illinois and attended Lombard College and still continued writing poems. Although he never actually got a degree in anything, he knew where his strengths were. Writing poems was something that he loved and wanted to build his career upon. He later moved to Wisconsin and joined the Democratic Party. In 1910 he became the secretary to the mayor of Milwaukee until 1912. Carl met Lillian Steichen at the Democratic Party. They were married and they had three daughters. The family later moved to Michigan and then moved to Elmhurst, Illinois. Where they stayed until they died. (Bildir)
Carl wrote many poems throughout his college experience that many people did not know about. One person that really influenced and helped him was Prophesier Philip Green Wright. Prophesier Wright was a literature teacher at Lombard College. He paid for the publication of Carl’s first book of poetry “Reckless Ecstasy” (Buehrmann). This book contained many of Carl’s poems he had written and had five of his most popular poems. One being “Mary Lincoln, Wife and Widow” he wrote in 1932. This poem was written about Abraham Lincoln’s wife before, during, and after Abraham’s death. He also helped Sandburg publish his three children's books he had written in Elmhurst, in 1922(Bildir). Carl Sandburg may have been a poet but he also has...

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