January 11, 2007

Carl Sandburg is Underrated

While visiting a blog by Becky Zoole (someone I do not know, but equally appreciate a great poem with), I started thinking about Carl Sandburg.

Sandburg, I think, is underrated. While he is iconic in the realm of American poetry, I think he is not always seen as a serious poet like T. S. Eliot. It seems to me we present him as something just above a writer of great doggerel. "Fog" is as packed as Williams' "Red Wheelbarrow." Short, beguilingly simple, and crammed with depth.

You can read two poems below. They are more than haiku, accomplishing real meaning as well as transcendent meaning, but use a similar economy of verbiage.

The Red Wheelbarrow
by William Carlos Williams

so much depends
upon
a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.


Fog
by Carl Sandburg

The fog comes
on
little cat
feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on
silent haunches
and then moves on.

My parody
The Lunchbreak Reader - Singalong With Brockeim


Poetry of Carl Sandburg
Poetry of Wiliam Carlos Williams


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