The Early Poetry of Carl Sandburg

4 books in series
4 out of 5 stars 12 ratings

The Early Poetry of Carl Sandburg - Chicago Poems Publisher's Summary

This was Carl Sandburg's breakthrough book. It is easy to see how it draws directly on Sandburg's life in Chicago, because it speaks powerfully of the specific character of that city and, indeed, begins with his famous poem that names Chicago as the "City of the Broad Shoulders". His poetry is deeply aware of the inner life of the city, from a homeless woman freezing in a doorway to the lifestyles of the rich and powerful. Sandburg, even in his poetry, is in many ways the quintessential newspaperman, constantly present, constantly observing, constantly taking a stand.

So, what are we to make of the poems in this volume that don't fit that model? The poems that operate on a universal level, seemingly independent of location? As you listen to these poems, listen for Sandburg's involvement with the concept of the city as something itself universal, something that seeks the truth of the city as a human institution and human environment beyond the life of one city, Chicago. Sandburg here writes of urban humanity in its essence, not merely the urban life of one city on the shore of Lake Michigan. The city of Chicago, for Sandburg, is all cities; the lake, for him, is the sea, the universal sea.

In these poems, Sandburg truly finds his voice, and brings us the universal city in all its ramifications. Enjoy!

A note to the listener: This book was written in 1916 and uses the common language of that time. That includes a very few instances of words referring to African-Americans and people of Central European ancestry that are today unacceptable. We do well to listen to the way even our great poets once spoke, so that we do not forget that we once spoke that way.

Public Domain (P)2011 Robert Bethune
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  • Book 1

    • The Early Poetry of Carl Sandburg - Chicago Poems

    • By: Carl Sandburg
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 2 hrs and 12 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 7
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 5
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 5

    This was Carl Sandburg's breakthrough book. It is easy to see how it draws directly on Sandburg's life in Chicago, because it speaks powerfully of the specific character of that city, and indeed, begins with his famous poem that names Chicago as the "City of the Broad Shoulders." His poetry is deeply aware of the inner life of the city, from a homeless woman freezing in a doorway to the lifestyles of the rich and powerful.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • wonderful, essential

    • By Heimo on 05-17-11

    Regular price: $11.86

  • Book 2

    • The Early Poetry of Carl Sandburg: Cornhuskers

    • By: Carl Sandburg
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 2 hrs and 13 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2

    Carl Sandburg fixed his eyes on the people of his time and place. He ignored or scorned the wealthy, the comfortable, the complacent, the powerful and those who serve them; he had no time for the ruling class. His eyes were open to the immigrant, the laborer, the hobo, the farmer, the man who works with his hands, the woman who runs a family, the soldier who goes to war for them.

    Regular price: $11.86

  • Book 3

    • The Early Poetry of Carl Sandburg: Slabs of the Sunburnt West

    • By: Carl Sandburg
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 1 hr and 21 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 1
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 1
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 1

    This is Carl Sandburg's fourth collection of poetry. His signature style, a rough-and-ready free verse that often transforms into poetic prose, is in full view. Like Whitman before him and like Masters and Frost in his own time, he puts his focus directly on life as he sees it around him, life in the rough-and-tumble Chicago of the early 20th century and life in the American West at a time when that wild country was finally succumbing to civilization

    Regular price: $11.86

  • Book 4

    • The Early Poetry of Carl Sandburg: Smoke and Steel

    • By: Carl Sandburg
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 3 hrs and 41 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 2
    • Performance
      3.5 out of 5 stars 2
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2

    This is Carl Sandburg's third book of poetry and his largest. It is also the most wide-ranging. The title, Smoke and Steel, suggests the steel industry he knew in Chicago, Gary and Pittsburg, but he writes about many other things as well. His over-arching theme seems to be human life as a struggle in adversity, a struggle for the mere necessities of life - food, clothing, shelter, work - and a struggle for the human soul, a struggle for love, charity, justice, equality.

    Regular price: $17.49