Carl Sandburg


..'for it could be a place to come and remember'


Carl August Sandburg's ashes are buried beneath a red granite boulder (Remembrance Rock) in the Carl Sandburg Park, Galesburg, Knox County, Illinois, USA.

In 1913 Sandburg and his family moved to a suburb of Chicago and he soon started to get his poetry published in Harriet Monroe's influential Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.

Sandburg utilised the free verse style of Walt Whitman and wrote poems about the everyday lives of everyday Americans. At first, his use of colloquialisms was considered shocking  - but his work soon found an audience. He was also one of the first US poets to write about industrial landscapes.

Remembrance Rock

Carl Sandburg

His first major collection Chicago Poems was published in 1916 and he soon became part of the Chicago literary renaissance. Subsequent collections included Cornhuskers (1918)- which dealt with his experiences as a foreign correspondent during World War 1, Smoke and Steel (1920), Slabs of Sunburnt West (1922) and Good Morning America (1928).

Sandburg, who is sometimes known as the 'singing bard', was also an accomplished folk singer and guitarist and gathered together songs that he had heard sung by cowboys, hobos and lumberjacks in The American Songbag (1927).

He also wrote an epic 6 volume biography of his boyhood hero Abraham Lincoln and a novel entitled: Remembrance Rock which traced the life of an English family that came to America on the Mayflower. (Sandburg, himself, was of Swedish Lutheran stock.)

He was awarded a 2nd Pulitzer Prize in 1950 for his Complete Poems.

See also 'Poets on Poetry'

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work-
                        I am the grass; I cover all.
And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
                            What place is this?
                             Where are we now?
                             I am the grass.
                            Let me work.







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