Carl Sandburg, one of America ’ s most darling poets, was born in 1878 in Galesburg, Illinois. Born hapless to Swedish immigrants, Sandburg grew up to populate the American dream. In 1951, Sandburg won the Pulitzer Prize for his book Complete Poems, which is a aggregation of six volumes of poesy including a New Section of 74 verse forms non antecedently included. He moved to Chicago in 1913 and began to compose a series of verse forms about the Chicago life manner. His first verse form to derive acknowledgment was “ Chicago, ” which appeared in the magazine Poetry in 1914. “ Chicago, ” one of Sandburg ’ s most famed verse forms, portrays the mistakes of mid-western cities while picturing the mundane urban experience. He went on to compose many more verse forms focused on the society of Chicago. This group of verse forms came to be known as Chicago Poems. In this subdivision, Sandburg uses the techniques of unrimed free poetry and imagism to set up himself as a realist concerned with the energy and ferociousness of urban industrial life.
” they tell me you are barbarous And holding answered so I turn one time more to those who sneer at this my metropolis, and I give them back the leer and state to them: Come and demo me another metropolis with upraised caput singing so proud to be alive and harsh and strong and cunning. ” ( Sandburg pg. 3 ) Through this exert from the verse form “ Chicago, ” Sandburg clearly shows his deep concern for the repute of the metropolis of Chicago. He is able to portray both the positive and negative positions of the metropolis, therefore set uping himself as a realist. The realists tried to compose truthfully and objectively, which Sandburg is able to make in most all of his work. ” Fierce as a Canis familiaris with lingua lapping for action ” ( Sandburg pg. 3 ) This image of a Canis familiaris, created by Sandburg to stand for Chicago, clearly shows his use of imagism throughout his work. This imagism makes the poem even more clear than it is already. Such vivid and descriptive words as “ fierce ” and “ lapping ” give the verse form an interesting and clear overall consequence on the reader. Through Sandburg ’ s imagism we are besides presented with descriptions of the metropolis of Chicago. By utilizing the image of a ferocious Canis familiaris Sandburg is exposing the energy every bit good as ferociousness of the metropolis of Chicago.
“ Chicago, along with the verse form Skyscraper, which proclaims that edifices have souls, initiated what was to be called the “ Chicago Myth, ” or the belief that Chicago was someway tougher than other metropoliss ” ( Biographical Articles pg. 1 ) This statement shows us that Sandburg is giving Chicago the image of a tough and barbarous metropolis. We besides discover that through his Chicago Poems, he shows the repute of true urban industrial life, yet turn outing one time once more the fact that Sandburg is a realist. The bulk of Sandburg ’ s poesy contains the use of unrimed free poetry. He uses the alone technique of unrimed free poetry because when he writes poesy, his mode is without limitations and wholly original. “ Souls of them all are here, even the hod bearer imploring at back doors 100s of stat mis off and the brick bed who went to provinces prison for hiting another adult male while drunk. ” ( Sandburg pg. 32 ) This quotation mark from the verse form Skyscraper is a typical Sandburg line in unrimed free poetry signifier. The quotation mark has no set form doing it free and it besides does non incorporate any cases of rime. This was known to be rather characteristic of Sandburg. He is quoted as stating, “ If it jells into free poetry, all right. If it jells into rime, all right. ” ( Overview pg. 1 ) Sandburg ’ s casual attitude makes his work free to be “ jelled ”
into any form or from he wishes. His readers greatly enjoyed his authorship manner because he was a author of the people. Sandburgs works contained the thoughts, facets, and feelings of the mundane individual. “His linguistic communication lives about every bit fierily as the life from which it is taken.” ( Untermeyer pg.2 ) The linguistic communication that Sandburg chose to compose in was the linguistic communication of the people ; therefore it will populate on forever.
“ Jack was a dark-skinned, tittuping son-of-a-gun. He worked 30 old ages on the railway, 10 hours a twenty-four hours, and his custodies were tougher than exclusive leather. He married a tough adult female and they had eight kids and the adult female died and the kids grew up and went off and wrote the old adult male every two old ages. He died in the poorhouse sitting on a bench in the Sun stating reminisces to other old work forces whose adult females were dead and kids scattered. There was joy on his face when he died as there was joy on his face when he lived-he was a dark-skinned, tittuping, son-of-a-gun. ” ( Sandburg pg. 22 ) The verse form above by Sandburg entitled “ Jack, ” illustrates the typical life of the typical urban industrial worker. Jack worked 10 hours a twenty-four hours for a sum of 30 old ages without a married woman by his side. He may hold had tough times, but however lived a full life while taking attention of eight kids. Though there was “ ferociousness ” during his life-time, i.e. the loss of his married woman, the loss of his kids, and a ten-hour a twenty-four hours displacement, however Jack still was able to populate life with “ joy on his face. ” By composing about a peculiar character, Sandburg is turn outing that he genuinely is a realist. The realists wrote about ordinary characters in ordinary state of affairss, which Sandburg does through “ Jack ” .
“ In western Fieldss of maize and northern forests, they talk about me, a barroom with a psyche, the soft ruddy visible radiations, the long curving saloon, the leather seats and dim corners, tall brass cuspidors, and the picture of a adult female half-dressed thrown reckless across a bed after a dark of liquor and riots. ” ( Sandburg pg. 63 ) This verse form called “ Jungheimer ’ s ” clearly expresses the “ energy ” of the metropolis of Chicago around the nineteenth century. Such words as “ booze ” and “ riots ” propose the strength of the urban industrial life. Besides, Sandburg shows through this verse form the image of a “ adult female half-dressed thrown reckless across a bed. ” This image could perchance typify the attitude that Chicago held toward its adult females.
“ It is unjust to pick spots out of a verse form that owes it ’ s power to it ’ s mass ” ( Benet pg.2 ) In other words, this essay can non reflect Sandburg ’ s true mastermind for composing poesy. It has merely been able to capture an intimation of Sandburg ’ s timeless Chicago Poems. To understand the true significance of his poesy we must read them all ( There are a sum of 150 Chicago Poems ) . Each and every one of his verse forms are connected someway to one another. Sandburg ’ s poesy without a uncertainty contains imagism, and realistic positions refering to the energy and ferociousness of urban industrial life.
“ Bibliography ”
Stephen Vincent Benet, “ Carl Sandburg – Poet of the Prairie People, ” in New York Herald Tribune Books, August 23, 1936, pgs. 1-2.
“ Carl Sandburg. ” Detecting Writers. Detroit: Gale Research, 1993.
“ Overview of Author ’ s Works and Career ” Detecting Writers, 1993.
Sandburg, Carl. Complete Poems. New York: Brace And Company, 1950.
“ Sandburg, Carl ” Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. 1994.
Louis Untermeyer, “ Strong Timber, ” in The Dial, Chicago, Vol. LXV, October 5, 1918, pgs. 263-64.