Chicago Poems (Unabridged) by Carl Sandburg

By Carl Sandburg

Written within the poet's specified own idiom, those early poems contain "Chicago," "Fog," "To a modern Bunkshooter," "Who Am I?" and "Under the Harvest Moon," in addition to many others on topics of warfare, immigrant existence, demise, love, loneliness and the wonderful thing about nature. New introductory word. Alphabetical lists of titles and primary strains.

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Additional resources for Chicago Poems (Unabridged)

Example text

Thus is the hallucinatory atmosphere of what follows prefatorily prepared: In the bed made for me there were: a bruised animal tinged with blood, the size of a bun, a lead pipe, a gust of wind, an icy seashell, a spent cartridge, two fingers of a glove, an oil stain; there was no prison door, there was a bitter taste, a glazier’s diamond, a strand of hair, a day, a broken chair, a silkworm, the stolen object, an overcoat chain, a tame green fly, a branch of coral, a cobbler’s nail, a bus wheel.

Subject and poet are in collusion. The narrative gives the stone breaker’s point of view. In the first stanza “they” – those not of his world – are society’s lucky ones: the ones who have the soft life of sand and straw; the ones who feather their nests from “dovecotes”; who quench their thirst at will; who seduce powerless maidens; who brush over human suffering, from which they are spared. Their life contrasts with that of the “us” of stanza two. They are the ones who will fall prey to pulmonary disease, while the “others” argue within local councils, far from the site (and sight) of “ruined roads”.

Radically, it embraced crafts and the fine arts, notably architecture, with an overarching emphasis on design. 6 The expression comes from Moulin premier, aphorism XXXIV. 7 “L’Amour” (OC 12); “Tréma de l’émondeur” (OC 8). 12 Poetry is risk; it cuts through old poetic methods even as it pares and sculpts with sharply expressive power. In that respect the detail of Kandinsky’s engraving is both true to abstractionist methods he had long developed and in keeping with the poet’s style. The needle, the engraver’s tool, had etched out a worthy complement to Char’s keenly cast poems.

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