Monday, July 23, 2012

Carl Sandburg, Poet and North Carolina Home


Carl Sandburg is one of my favorite one of my favorite poets.  When I was a young student I had the good fortune to hear him read his work in person.  It was in the later years of his life, but he still held a commanding presence.  He was originally from the mid west, but moved with his family to North Carolina.  Flat Rock is not far from Asheville.  His Flat Rock home (click)is now a museum and during the summer college students sing and perform songs from his anthology of American Folk Music.  There is also a petting zoo for children with baby goats.  His wife raised prize winning goats on the farm.  There are stories about goats running through the house while Carl Sandburg was doing his writing.  
I have always loved poetry, to me it is like painting a picture with words.  The impetus of creativity is the same to me, it is only the form of expression we use...whether it me pin, brush or instrument.  
Carl Sandburg was a master at his craft...Chicago is his most famous poem.  
Carl Sandburg's Flat Rock, North Carolina Home        from google image
Carl Sandburg


     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:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
     have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
     luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
     is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
     kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
     faces of women and children I have seen the marks
     of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
     sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
     and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
     so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
     job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
     little soft cities;

Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning
     as a savage pitted against the wilderness,

          Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with
     white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young
     man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has
     never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse.
     and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of
     Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog
     Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with
     Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.
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