Sandburg Essay

This essay has a total of 741 words and 4 pages.

Sandburg

Author-poet Carl Sandburg was born in the three-room cottage at 313 East Third
Street in Galesburg on January 6, 1878. The modest house reflects the typical
living conditions of a late nineteenth century working-class family. Many of the
furnishings once belonged to the Sandburg family are still in tact. Behind the
house stands a small wooded park. Underneath Remembrance Rock, lie the ashes
of Carl Sandburg, who died in 1967.



Carl August Sandburg was born the son of Swedish immigrants August and
Clara Anderson Sandburg. The elder Sandburg, a blacksmith's helper for the
nearby Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, purchased the cottage in 1873.
Carl, called "Charlie" by the family, was born the second of seven children in
1878. A year later the Sandburgs sold the small cottage in favor of a larger house
in Galesburg. Carl Sandburg worked from the time he was a young boy. He quit
school following his graduation from eighth grade in 1891 and spent a decade
working many jobs. He delivered milk, harvested ice, laid bricks, threshed wheat
in Kansas, and shined shoes in Galesburg's Union Hotel before traveling as a hobo
in 1897.

His experiences working and traveling greatly influenced his writing and
political views. As a hobo he learned a number of folk songs, which he later
performed at speaking engagements. He saw first-hand the large difference
between rich and poor, a inflence that instilled in him a distrust of capitalism.
When the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898 Sandburg volunteered for
service, and at the age of twenty was ordered to Puerto Rico, where he spent days
battling only heat and mosquitoes. Upon his return to his hometown later that year,
he entered Lombard College, supporting himself as a call fireman.

Sandburg's college years shaped his literary talents and political views.
While at Lombard, Sandburg joined the Poor Writers' Club, an informal literary
organization whose members met to read and criticize poetry. Poor Writers'
founder, Lombard professor Phillip Green Wright, a talented scholar and political
liberal, encouraged the talented young Sandburg. Sandburg honed his writing skills
and adopted the socialist views of his mentor before leaving school in his senior
year. Sandburg sold stereoscope views and wrote poetry for two years before his
first book of verse, In Reckless Ecstasy, was printed on Wright's basement press in
1904. Wright printed two more volumes for Sandburg, Incidentals and The Plaint
of a Rose.

As the first decade of the century wore on, Sandburg grew increasingly
concerned with the plight of the American worker. In 1907 he worked as an
organizer for the Wisconsin Social Democratic party, writing and distributing
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