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Carl Sandburg was born on January 6, 1878 in Galesburg, Illinois. He had attended school when he was young, but he left school at the age of 13 to become a day laborer. Later, he served in the Spanish American War, and returned to Galesburg afterward.

He had finished his college education at Lombard College. Then in 1913, Sandburg moved to Chicago, where he first gained recognition when he was awarded the Levinson Prize for his poem, Chicago. He quickly established himself as a realist through his original method of unrhymed free-verse poetry.

From 1918-1933, Sandburg wrote editorials fot the Chicago Daily News. During that time, he also wrote many volumes of poetry such as Cornhuskers in 1918, Smoke and Steel in 1920, and Good Morning America in 1928. All of Sandburg's works expressed a basic optimism for the American future. As some people put it, "His poetry gained wide appreciation for its impressionistic style and colloquial vigor." However, Sanburg's fame was primarily based upon his works regarding Abraham Lincoln. He wrote The Prarie Years in 1928, and Abraham Lincoln: The War Years in 1939, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1940.

Sandburg was also known as a singer of American folk songs, of which many were compiled in, The American Songbag in 1927. Among his other works were Steichen the Photographer in 1920, Home Front Memo in 1943, the novel, Remembrance Rock in 1948, Complete Poems in 1950, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1951, and his autobiography, Always the Young Strangers in 1952. However, he died on July 22, 1967.


Illinois Farmer from Cornhuskers, 1918

BURY this old Illinois farmer with respect.
He slept the Illinois nights of his life after days of work in Illinois cornfields.
Now he goes on a long sleep.
The wind he listened to in the cornsilk and the tassels, the wind that combed his red beard
zero mornings when the snow lay white on the yellow ears in the bushel basket at the
The same wind will now blow over the place here where his hands must dream of Illinois corn.

Cited Works

Microsoft Encarta   Sandburg, Carl.
     Redmen: Funk & Wagnalls Corporation: 1994

"Sandburg Carl 1918 Cornhuskers" Columbia University
      28 May 1998.