Carl Sandburg

(6 January 1878 – 22 July 1967 / Illinois)

Carl Sandburg
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Carl Sandburg was an American writer and editor, best known for his poetry. He won three Pulitzer Prizes, two for his poetry and another for a biography of Abraham Lincoln. H. L. Mencken called Carl Sandburg "indubitably an American in every pulse-beat."


Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Illinois, to parents of Swedish ancestry. At the age of thirteen (During Eighth grade) he left school and began driving a milk wagon. From the age of about fourteen until he was seventeen or eighteen, he worked as a porter at the Union Hotel barbershop in Galesburg. After that he was on the milk route again for 18 months. He then became a bricklayer and a farm laborer... more »

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Carl Sandburg Quotations

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  • ''Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work.''
    Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), U.S. poet. New York Times (Feb. 13, 1959).
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  • ''Ordering a man to write a poem is like commanding a pregnant woman to give birth to a red-headed child.''
    Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), U.S. poet. Quoted in The Reader's Digest (Pleasantville, New York, February, 1978).
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  • ''The mammoth rests between his cyclonic dramas.''
    Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), U.S. poet. The People, Yes (l. 7). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiessen, ed. (1950) Oxford Univers...
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  • ''Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come.''
    Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), U.S. poet. The People, Yes (1936). The words were popularized during the anti-war protests of the 1960s, and were echoe...
    205 person liked.
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  • ''The sea speaks a language polite people never repeat. It is a colossal scavenger slang and has no respect.''
    Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), U.S. poet. Two Nocturnes.
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Comments about Carl Sandburg

  • Kathy (5/9/2020 11:48:00 PM)

    looking for the Sandburg poem, " now we shall open boxes and look..." - anyone have the reference?

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    3 person liked.
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  • Michael Walker (1/2/2020 7:35:00 PM)

    Carl Sandburg mastered both poetry and prose, something to do with him being a journalist.
    I find him very readable.

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  • Michael Walker (1/2/2020 7:33:00 PM)

    Thanks for your agreement Chuck. Not often someone agrees with me.

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  • Chuck Isner (11/10/2019 2:54:00 PM)

    I must agree with Michael Walker: Sandburg is still underrated. I fell in love with Sandberg at 17 when my dad recited the first stanza of Chicago to me from memory. He had memorized it about 30 years earlier in high school. He also won a Pulitzer Prize for his 3 volume biography about Abraham Lincoln. The beauty of his prose, in my opinion, is how the poet shows through on every page. His skill in using just the right word to express his ideas was beyond brilliant.

    6 person liked.
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  • Michael Walker (10/28/2019 9:25:00 PM)

    I think that Carl Sandburg is still underrated, compared to other American poets.
    His thoughts roam freely, impelled by a vivid imagination. In such a large number of poems, some are much better than others, as you would expect.

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  • Gayness=?? (10/23/2019 9:34:00 AM)

    I think homosexuals are retarded.

    10 person liked.
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  • Midget man (10/23/2019 9:31:00 AM)

    Guys. Midgets will rule the world one day.
    - - - - - - - - - -THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING- - - - - - - - - - - -

    6 person liked.
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  • anonymous dude (10/23/2019 9:27:00 AM)


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Best Poem of Carl Sandburg

Autumn Movement

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper
   sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.

The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes,
   new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind,
   and the old things go, not one lasts.

Read the full of Autumn Movement