“Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance.”
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)
An Illinois native, Sandburg left school at thirteen. He worked as a porter, bricklayer, coal heaver, and a farm laborer before briefly entering, but never finishing, college. He began his writing career at the Chicago Daily News and ultimately won three Pulitzer Prizes, two for his poetry in 1919 and 1951 and one for his widely read multi-volume biography of Lincoln, in 1940. Sandburg’s Rootabaga Stories, for children, and his accessible poetry made him a popular figure in mid-20th century America. It was Sandburg who characterized Chicago as “Hog Butcher for the World …City of Big Shoulders.” His American Songbag, a collection of folksongs, and his Grammy- winning recordings of these songs accompanying himself on solo guitar, did much to advance the folk revival of the 1960’s.
Although often attributed to others, it was Sandburg who said, “Sometime they’ll give a war and no one will come.”
We are still waiting.
Gregory R Bover