Best known for his poems and biographies, Carl Sandburg (1878–1960) grew up in a middle-class family in Galesburg, Illinois. Dropping out of school after the eighth grade, he took many odd jobs until enlisting in the military during the Spanish-American War. After the war, he developed his writing skills at Lombard College (which he left before graduating) and while working as a journalist at the Chicago Daily News. The author of nearly 50 books of poetry, history, folklore, and stories for children, Sandburg won the Pulitzer Prize three times: in 1919 for Corn Huskers, a book of poetry; in 1940 for Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, a biography of Lincoln; and in 1951 for his collection Complete Poems.
Author: Carl Sandburg
“Chicago” is one of nine poems that Carl Sandburg wrote for his 1916 collection, Chicago Poems. The poem uses social realism to exemplify the love Sandburg felt towards the city, imperfections and all.
Carl SandburgIn this excerpt from Carl Sandburg’s work, he calls upon the memory of Lincoln, about whom he had earlier written a four-volume Pulitzer Prize–winning biography. This work, he later said, was “my footnote to the last words of the Gettysburg Address.”
In this final selection of the anthology, we continue to explore how we remember and celebrate our national heroes. Like Allen Guelzo, Carl Sandburg (1878–1967), America’s beloved Midwestern poet, was especially drawn to his fellow Illinoisan, Abraham Lincoln, of whom he wrote a four-volume Pulitzer Prize–winning biography.