Sandburg Carl 1878 - 1967 (89)

I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes, so live not in your yesterdays, no just for tomorrow, but in the here and now.



Hog Butcher for the World, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler; Stormy, husky, brawling, City of the Big Shoulders:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.

Carl Sandburg ( Galesburg, Illinois, 1878 - Flat Rock, North Carolina, 1967) was an American poet, novelist and historian. He was born in a poor family of Swedish immigrants who had come to the New World for a better life. Carl received basic education and from the age of 13 worked in tough jobs like milkman, porter, hairdresser, assistant in theatrical scenery, mason, brick worker and turner, coming into contact with many different people. The experiences he gained, was later used in his writings. At 17 he went to Kansas, where he worked as a wheat harvester and dish washer before coming back to Galesburg and become an apprentice in a painting workshop.

In 1898 he voluntarily enlisted in the army and was send in Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American war, didn’t take part though in any battle. He returned to Galesburg and attended Latin, English literature, drama and rhetoric in the town’s college. He abandoned his studies after two years without a degree and traveled to New Jersey, New York and Delaware, where he joined the Social Democratic Party. In the party’s offices he met in 1907 Lillian Steichen; he married her in 1908 and together they had three daughters. In the following years he worked as a reporter for the newspaper "Chicago Daily News", wrote three children's books, a biography of Abraham Lincoln and the poetry collection "Good Morning America".

In 1916 he published the collection "The Poems of Chicago" for which he used to say publicly: "This is the difference between Dante, Milton and me. They wrote about hell without ever seeing it. I wrote about Chicago looking every day to the city for years and years”. In 1919 he won the Pulitzer price, he will regain it in 1940 and 1951. In 1945 he moved to a farm in Connemara, where he lived with his wife, daughters and two grandchildren, producing most of his works. Sandberg described realistically the difficult life of immigrants in America, he spoke of the countless factories and slaughterhouses, of fields and stifling cities, of the stuffy atmosphere and dark skies in the slums where immigrants were fighting for bread and dignity. He supported the movement for civil rights and was even the first white to be honored by the NAACP. He died in 1967 of natural causes.