Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Not the way I learned it, but....
In February 1910, Sandburg wrote an article for the Milwaukee Social-Democratic Herald to commemorate Abraham Lincoln's birthday. The short piece was revealing for three reasons: it affirmed Sandburg's commitment to the working class; it portrayed Lincoln, who became Sandburg's lifelong obsession, as a socialist, at least in spirit; and it marked the first appearance of a new byline. No pseudonym this time concealed his political history; no Americanization masked his Swedish roots. He became, once and for all, Carl Sandburg. At the same time, he tried to wrest Lincoln away from the Republicans, to make him a symbol of hope for "the common people - the working class." "Let us not forget" he wrote:
Abraham Lincoln was a shabby, homely man who came from
among those who live shabby homely lives.
He came into life sad - down in the sad world of labor - labor
burdened and tragic and exploited.
He never forgot the tragic, weary underworld from which he
came - the world of labor, the daily lives of toil, deprivation and
monotony. Against these things he fought. He struggled for
more - more food and books and better conditions - for the
-Penelope Niven, Carl Sandburg: A Biography