Monday, September 10, 2012

The wisdom of Carl Sandburg

"I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way."
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)
Poet, writer, editor

Anyone worthy of being described by H. L. Mencken as "indubitably an American in every pulse-beat" is someone you really want to know, at least a little bit….

Sandburg's celebrated biography of Abraham Lincoln was my first exposure to Old Abe, I loved it, I re-read it a couple times. It was also my first exposure to Sandburg.

His poetry is grand, grandly eloquent, eloquently simple….Sandburg said the city of Chicago is "Hog Butcher for the World/Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat/Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler,/Stormy, Husky, Brawling, City of the Big Shoulders."

You don't just casually write lines like that….

Sandburg also wrote children's stories—Rootabaga Stories and others—I'm not really familiar with those.

His epigram, above, about being an idealist is a problem for me. I usually don't write about "quotes" that don't really resonate for me, this one seems a bit aimless. I don't see much of a connection between the first sentence and the second sentence.

I guess my real reluctance is that I believe in idealism. I think I am an idealist about my own life in many ways although I hasten to claim that I am realist about many of the other 7 billion folks on the planet….and, at least fairly often, I think I know where I'm going.

So I offer this alternative bit of wisdom from Carl Sandburg:

"Man is born with rainbows in his heart and you'll never read him unless you consider rainbows."

This one resonates…..

The wisdom of Abraham Lincoln

....more from Old Abe

What L. P. Hartley said....

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