Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) was an American poet and author. Born in Galesburg, Illinois, Sandburg dropped out of school at age 13, served in the military, and briefly attended college before entering into a journalism career with the Chicago Daily News
, as well as joining the Socialist Party and becoming active in party politics. As a writer, Sandburg was a jack of all trades, winning Pulitzer Prizes for both his poetry and biography, the latter for Abraham Lincoln: The War Years
, the second volume of his biography of the 16th President. He was a novelist, and he also wrote a very popular collection of children's stories called Rootabaga Stories
. He was even a musician, collecting words and music to 280 folk tunes and publishing them as The American Songbag
, and recording several of the songs.
Tropes in Sandburg's work:
- Abraham Lincoln: His hugely popular biographies of Lincoln so identified Sandburg with Lincoln that when the Congress observed the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's birth in 1959, Sandburg was invited to give an address.
- Chicago: Sandburg lived and worked in the city and wrote about it frequently, titling one of his collections Chicago Poems. His most famous poem, and probably the most famous portrait of the Windy City this side of The Blues Brothers, is "Chicago".
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.
- Eagleland: H.L. Mencken called him "indubitably an American in every pulse-beat". The American Songbag was his effort to collect and preserve American folk music. The Rootabaga Stories series was Sandburg's effort to make expressly American fairy tales, ones that did not involve knights and princesses and castles.