Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman had very similar lives. They both came from working class families and neither one of them went to high school or graduated college. They learned from watching people and by reading books on their own. They both had a certain sense for the world that made them able to see what was going on around them and grasp its significance. Although Whitman was born sixty years before Sandburg there were still a lot of the same things happening in America and they both picked up on one important factor of the time, that of the average working class man. Whitman and Sandburg admired the working class man for all of his hard work and they wrote a lot about this admiration
The fact that Whitman and Sandburg both were raised in the working class and pretty much worked all of their lives probably has a strong impact on why they wanted to praise their fellow working class citizen. They felt empowered by these people and wanted to give something back to them for working so hard and not getting any acclaim. When Sandburg and Whitman wrote about the common man they usually did it in the company of a certain poetic trait known as cataloging. With cataloging one is able to produce many detailed images repeatedly. Both Sandburg and Whitman show this characteristic in a number of works. The following is a poem by Walt Whitman that uses cataloging to show American at its best:
I Hear America Singing
Those of mechanics--each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves for work,
The boatman singing what b...
... middle of paper ...
...d getting a sense of what Whitman and Sandburg are trying to do with their poetry it is much easier to understand the meanings of many of their poems. Although the majority of the poems are not as straight forward as these two are about the working class it is an underlying theme throughout most of their poetry. They have worked very hard to get to where they are in history and they want to give credit to all of those who also are working hard to get what they want out of life.
Chapman, Wes. The Web of American Poetry Teaching Notes.
Crowder, Richard. Carl Sandburg. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1964.
Sandburg, Carl. "Chicago." The Columbia Anthology of American Poetry. Ed. Jay Parini. New York: Columbia UP, 1995. 320-321.
Whitman, Walt. "I Hear America Singing." Selected Poems and Prose. Ed. A. Norman Jeffares. London: Oxford UP, 1966. 125.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- You Are What You Live Wars have existed ever since the beginning of civilisation. They are usually the result of selfless acts portrayed by humans in order to obtain some sort of new territory or political power. Historical events such as wars affect the lives of many people including writers or artists like Carl Sandburg, the famous poet who wrote the poems “Boes” and “The Four Brothers” in an attempt to express what he felt in the after math of the Spanish-American War and during World War I.... [tags: World War II, World War I, Veteran, Carl Sandburg]
1137 words (3.2 pages)
- Walt Whitman is possibly one of the best examples of an artist who drew no distinctions between art and culture. To Whitman art is culture, and culture is history. His role as an artist must then be intrinsically manifesting himself as a representative of the America masses, or express himself as America personified. He saw democracy as an inseparable attribute of Americaness. However, the America he lived in was desperately fractured amongst differing factions with different opinions on the definition of “democracy”.... [tags: Walt Whitman on Democracy ]
2891 words (8.3 pages)
- Walt Whitman, born in May of 1819, grew up with an affinity for America. Originally from Long Island, New York, Whitman moved to Brooklyn as a child in hopes that his father would find work in the city. However, when that did not happen, his father took Walt out of school in order for him to work and bring in an extra income. Whitman began his working career at age eleven by working in one of Brooklyn’s attorney offices. Shortly afterwards, he began getting involved in the printing business and fell in love with it.... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman]
1604 words (4.6 pages)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman are two of the most iconic American poets of the 19th century. Emerson and Whitman were both revolutionaries in American poetry, in their own time and their own right. When Emerson released his piece “The Poet,” a writing that challenged all of the American poets to become, as he put it, the next “Great American Poet,” which would address all of “the facts of the animal economy, sex, nutriment, gestation, birth.” Of all the poets that read Emerson’s piece, Whitman was the one who decided to “put the living, breathing, sexual body at the center of much of his poetry, challenging conventions of the day” (“Walt Whitman”, The Norton Anthology of American Lit... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman]
1223 words (3.5 pages)
- May 31, 1819, Walt Whitman was born to Walter Whitman and Louisa Van Velsor. Walt was the second son of nine children who lived in New York in the 1820’s and 1830’s. Between 1825 and 1830 Walt attended public school in Brooklyn while his family moved often within the city. At twelve Walt began to learn the trade of printing to then begin loving the written word. Whitman worked as a printer until the age of seventeen when a fire destroyed where he worked. In 1836 he began working as a school teacher in Long Island until 1841 when he became a full-time journalist.... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, United States]
923 words (2.6 pages)
- Walt Whitman as a Voice for the People "The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as much as he absorbs his country." This brilliant quote from Walt Whitman thus ends his preface to Leaves of Grass, and thereafter begins the poem "Song of Myself." To many, upon their first reading, this was a crude, shocking and distasteful piece of work. but to me...this was a celebration of life. And not just a celebration of his own life, but of every life, of the American life. Walt Whitman is the "voice of the people" and this I believe because, while he did write of things that were not seen as aesthetically beautiful by many...including homosexuality, loneliness, and death.... [tags: Walt Whitman Essays]
1192 words (3.4 pages)
- The time of Romanticism brought upon many trends extending from the idea of individualism as a rebellious separation from the classics, an idealistic outlook and finally to a strong religious base. Most of the writers of the Romantic period followed Pantheism "God is everything and everything is God ... the world is either identical with God or in some way a self-expression of his nature" (Owen 1971: 74). The idea of Pantheism was that everything in the world worked in unity. In some of the works of the Romantic period the expression of nature and humans are not separate entities, but one in the same.... [tags: Romanticism and Walt Whitman]
959 words (2.7 pages)
- Walt Whitman's Influence on Germany Walt Whitman (1819-1892) is considered to be one of the greatest American poets of the nineteenth century. While Edgar Allan Poe may have been more widely read, Whitman had more international writers actively respond to him and his poetry than any other American poet. A century after his death, writers around the world are still in dialogue with him, pondering the questions he posed, arguing with him and elaborating on his insights. People have been attracted to Whitman for numerous reasons.... [tags: Walt Whitman Germany Poetry Poets Essays]
5654 words (16.2 pages)
- Walt Whitman's Drum-Taps - The Personal Record of Whitman’s Wartime Experiences Walt Whitman is one of America’s most popular and most influential poets. The first edition of Whitman’s well-known Leaves of Grass first appeared in July of the poet’s thirty-sixth year. A subsequent edition of Leaves of Grass (of which there were many) incorporated a collection of Whitman’s poems that had been offered readers in 1865. The sequence added for the 1867 edition was Drum-Taps, which poetically recounts the author’s experiences of the American Civil War.... [tags: Walt Whitman Drum-Taps Essays]
995 words (2.8 pages)
- Carl Sandburg Carl Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Illinois on January 6, 1878. Carl and his family lived in a three room cottage at 313 East Third Street in Galesburg, Illinois. His parent’s names were August and Clara Anderson Sandburg. Sandburg’s nickname was Charlie. His parents were both Swedish immigrants. His Dad worked for a blacksmith in Chicago. Sandburg did not have much of an education because he quit school at the age of thirteen. His favorite subject in school was geography.... [tags: essays research papers]
993 words (2.8 pages)