Always the Young Strangers

In Galesburg, feelings about Carl Sandburg run deep. I’ve only lived in Galesburg for six years, so my relationship with Sandburg comes from growing up in the Chicago area, where there are frequent references to Chicago as the “City of the Big Shoulders” and “Hog Butcher for the World.” I’ve always admired Carl Sandburg as a poet.Each year, the Galesburg Public Library hosts a community read, encouraging people in the area to read and...

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Harvest Poems

I picked this small collection of Sandburg’s poetry up at one of my favorite thrift shops this fall.Spanning 40 years, Harvest Poems offers a great introduction to his prolific career. I related to many of the poems solely because of the wonderful depictions of the place I call home - the midwest.Sandburg describes so much movement, his words are like the wind…. constantly changing direction yet on a steady path. From man’s creation of...

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The Movies Are

Carl Sandburg, and an amazing ensemble of gifted writers, were able to be nurtured in one Chicago newspaper. People may not know that Carl was a movie critic for this paper. He covered the melodramas of the likes of Rin Tin Tin. For my latest novel, these Chicago novels are so filled with the weight of intellectual promise yet such astounding distraction that the eye of history seems only to have been recorded in some fractured crystal. For the...

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Abraham Lincoln

Just finished reading this monster four volume set, inherited from the Grandma (RIP) collection.Like the best history books, it gives you all the facts, as directly sourced as possible but doesn't get bogged down in them.A great history writer, which Sandburg is(as too is Taylor Branch or William Shirer) gets the "story" part right too and can create a compelling atmospheric narrative even if sometimes he needs his main character's own help in...

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Never Kick a Slipper at the Moon

My almost-five-year-old son picked this book out from our local library a week or so ago. I thought this book would be a good choice for him because the title alone sounded like a "Thomas story" and the cover illustration seemed to complement it perfectly. The artwork does perfectly complement the poem-story in the book, but, altogether, it doesn't work very well for a read-aloud picture book.It's too long.It's too complicated.And the...

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Rootabaga Stories

Joyous, humorous, poetic, and always uniquely American, Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories are an important part of our children's literary legacy. In inimitable prose, Sandburg created Rootabaga Country-where the railroad tracks go from straight to zigzag, where the pigs have bibs on, and where the Village of Cream Puffs floats in the wind-and populated it with baby balloon pickers, flummywisters, Poker Face the Baboon and Hot Dog the Tiger, the...

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