I was excited when I read that January 6 was the birthday of Carl Sandburg. I thought, ‘I know him. I like his work.’ As I started my research I realized I didn’t know as much about Mr. Sandburg as I thought I did.

I remembered the big bullet points of his life. from Wiki – “Carl Sandburg (January 6, 1878 – July 22, 1967) was an American writer and editor, best known for his poetry ”  His bio at Wiki is filled with lesser known but more interesting facts about his life  like,  “At the age of thirteen he left school and began driving a milk wagon.”

I asked my brother what his favorite Sandburg poem was and he replied, “Jane and I were sitting at a table by the window at the Culinary Institute enjoying lunch when my Blackberry vibrated with your message about Carl Sandburg.  Curiously enough, I had been watching the fog out on the water and thinking about Sandburg’s poem “Fog”:

FOG

The fog comes

on little cat feet.

It sits looking

over harbor and city

on silent haunches

and then moves on.


-which is probably my favorite because it’s the one I recall most frequently.”

I spent some enjoyable time exploring The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg which came in a box of books from one of my brother’s moves. During my quiet time with Carl Sandburg I discovered PEOPLE WHO MUST and MONOTONE.

PEOPLE WHO MUST

I painted on the roof of a skyscraper.

I painted a long while and called it a day’s work.

The people on a corner swarmed and the traffic cop’s whistle never let

up all afternoon.

They were the same as bugs, many bugs on their way–

Those people on the go or at a standstill;

And the traffic cop a spot of blue, a splinter of brass,

Where the black tides ran around him

And he kept the street. I painted a long while

and called it a day’s work.

MONOTONE

The monotone of the rain is beautiful,

And the sudden rise and slow relapse

Of the long multitudinous rain.

The sun on the hills is beautiful,

Or a captured sunset sea-flung,

Bannered with fire and gold.

A face I know is beautiful–

With fire and gold of sky and sea,

And the peace of long warm rain.