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Carl Sandburg: Poet, Artist And Contemporary Visionary Of The 20th Century. Focuses On His Life, His Accomplishments And Themes.

2434 words - 10 pages

Carl Sandburg"What is instinct? What is thought? Where is the absolute line between the two. Nobody knows-as yet" (Allen Fire 3). Sandburg thought hard while he wrote using only his quick instinct, which made his writings come alive, free, flowing poetry on themes he developed while living in the Midwest. Sandburg loved and wrote in detail about the beauties of everyday items in the Midwest such as the workforce, that no one at the time truly paid attention too. The romantic naturalist who focused on simple splendors of life created free verse poems with passionate and naturalistic values (Crowder 1). A theme that appears in most of his poems is respect to the common man (Allen Fire 1). He created most of his themes by growing up poor and neglected by his parents in the Midwest, where the poor blue-collars and farmers worked. He decided to fight in the war after he left his home but got out of the war as soon as possible and started working low paying jobs. He got his first real job, as a Chicago Daily News writer, which allowed him to work on his poetry and allowed him the ability to gather connections that would help him succeed in the poetry scene. He eventually got his poems published in popular poetry publications and was recognized by many event organizers (Carl 1). He was soon reading his poetry to large crowds of poetry enthusiasts, children, and just the common man. In the beginning he would read a few of his poems and then he would read a barrage of Walt Whitman poems to show his admiration of the man (Crowder 1). Later in his life he wrote some award winning books, but was more notable for his poetry. Sandburg was criticized throughout his life for being more of a writer then a poet, but Carl Sandburg was really an innovator that wasn't ready for his time (Allen Fire 1). Formal of all free-verse poets, Carl Sandburg created themes that praised ordinary people and exemplified the beauty that surrounded the common man in the early 1900's effectively influencing the upper class to pay more attention to it's other classes.Carl Sandburg's free-verse prose writing style is very similar to Walt Whitman's style, but on the other hand the themes and lengths of the poems created by Sandburg are very different compared to Whitman (Allen Fire 4). Both poets write using a style called free-verse prose, which allows the poet to be free and not constrained by a specific structure. Whitman and Sandburg, being a successor and admirer of Whitman, both relished and used the idea of being able to write free poetry. You can see this style used best in "Chicago" by Sandburg in which he writes, "Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning/ as a savage pitted against the wilderness,/ Bareheaded,/ Shoveling,/ Wrecking,/ Planning,/ Building,/ breaking, /rebuilding" (Carl 2). Just like Sandburg, Whitman created short spurts and long spurts of words in his poetry but the poetry was always free causing the reader to get a specific feeling while reading...

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