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The Works Of Poet Carl Sandburg And His Effect On American Poetry

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The Works of Poet Carl Sandburg and His Effect on American Poetry

The beloved poet, Carl Sandburg, changed the course of American poetry.

He was a poet, novelist, journalist, and songwriter, yet the influence of his

works have not always been acknowledged. Carl Sandburg's evocations of American

urban and rural life, compassion for people, and his love of nature, through his

works have made an enormous contribution to the American literary scene.

Carl Sandburg was born on January 6, 1878 to illiterate parents of

Swedish decent in Galesburg, Illinois. Much of Sandburg's literary works are a

result of his life time observations. He, more generously than many of his

fellow authors, left a detailed account of his wanderings, his numerous jobs,

his early struggles, and his successes in life. His own life fascinated

him.(Rogers 19) Therefore, he felt he wanted to share his fascination with the

people he enjoyed writing about.

Carl Sandburg is so greatly remembered because his writing was

considerably different from the writing of his contemporaries. He let his mind

travel, and be free. His works included the use of free verse, colloquialisms,

an original type of rhythm, and oddly structured, prosaic poetry that emphasized

key phrases and images.(clc 35, 338) Sandburg was the first of a long line of

poets and authors to use the words and phrases that he created in his poetry.

Sandburg's style of writing is what changed the course of American

poetry. Before Sandburg, most poetry and other literary works were considerably

similar, along with dull and boring. He carried poetry to "new horizons." He,

many times, wrote of reality, which was not always what people wanted to read,

but it was reality and it had to be dealt with. This is how his writing became

so known, because he dealt with what was real in our fantasy world.

Sandburg was not afraid to express his true feelings and thought on

people, society, nature, and life in general. One of his finest poetic

achievements is a poem called The People, Yes. It is a poem about people in

life, and everything life entails. The images in it range from a white man and

an Indian man arguing over who knows more, to why children put beans in their

ears when told not to. The People, Yes covers everyday dilemmas encountered by

the common man, but have not been expressed, and it is mandated by none other

than Carl Sandburg, the great American poet.

"The people is a myth, an abstraction.

And what myth would you put in place of the people?

And what abstraction would you exchange for this one?
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