Carl Sandburg’s “Back Yard” for National Poetry Month

Here’s a poem written by a second-generation immigrant about immigrants, and about Chicago in 1916, or my present city neighborhood of immigrants, or summer, summer nights — and it’s about love and affection, and about the moon that we’re all immigrants from when we fall in love. The child of an immigrant who wrote this … Continue reading Carl Sandburg’s “Back Yard” for National Poetry Month

from Carl Sandburg’s Lincoln: the Prairie Years

I neglected to plan ahead enough for today’s U. S. Presidents’ Day holiday. It’s an odd holiday anyway, of no great interest to the large number of readers/listeners this project has overseas. And for Americans, the title and avowed purpose of the holiday may be especially fraught in our present day. Back when I was … Continue reading from Carl Sandburg’s Lincoln: the Prairie Years

Fire Dreams, or Carl Sandburg’s Come On, Pilgrim

Emily Dickinson isn’t the only one of this project’s favorite American poets to write a Thanksgiving poem. Carl Sandburg did so too. Long time readers here will know how much I like Sandburg and how often I like to speak toward the canon-keepers to point out that early Sandburg was a devoted Modernist with a … Continue reading Fire Dreams, or Carl Sandburg’s Come On, Pilgrim

10 Definitions of Poetry from Carl Sandburg

Let’s continue our celebration of U. S. National Poetry Month! If Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman are the parents of modern American poetry, then one poet is most nearly the descendant with an equal inheritance from both: Carl Sandburg. Sandburg’s poetry has two modes: the tightly compressed Imagist poem and the expansive, iterative, catalogic Whitman-like … Continue reading 10 Definitions of Poetry from Carl Sandburg

Completing my National Poetry Month daily posting with two beautiful pieces

It’s been quite the job of work to do daily posts with new lyric videos here this April in celebration of National Poetry Month, and I haven’t taken the time yet to see what impact those extra efforts have had. Though I was re-releasing already recorded audio pieces from the earliest years of this six-year … Continue reading Completing my National Poetry Month daily posting with two beautiful pieces

Fenton Johnson’s “Tired” for National Poetry Month

As we continue into the last week of National Poetry Month I’m going to remind casual readers here that poetry is not only beauty or amazement, even if during this month we often emphasize those qualities. Yesterday’s piece by Chicago’s Carl Sandburg was about a lovely evening, about a generalized bonhomie with love, music, and … Continue reading Fenton Johnson’s “Tired” for National Poetry Month

Soul Selector Blues for National Poetry Month

Just suppose that back in the 1920s someone wanted to record a Blues song based on Emily Dickinson’s “A Soul selects her own Society,”  and so they waxed a 78 rpm platter at Paramount records “New York Recording Laboratories,” located back then in, well, Wisconsin.* If they did, it might sound a little like this. … Continue reading Soul Selector Blues for National Poetry Month

Letters to Dead Imagists and A Pact for National Poetry Month

Within the limited time I can find for it, I’ve been informally surveying what others online are doing for National Poetry Month. I’ll make one casual observation, unbacked by rigor or focused study: a great deal I’ve seen this April is aimed solely at the supply side for poetry. I’ve got nothing against urging more … Continue reading Letters to Dead Imagists and A Pact for National Poetry Month

Kicking off our celebration of National Poetry Month: Stars Songs Faces

Aha! I have a plan for National Poetry Month. You might think we’d need do nothing but what we usually do — after all, we’re always celebrating poetry here. We have over 600 pieces you can find in our archives, performances that combine words (mostly poetry) with original music we compose and record ourselves. But … Continue reading Kicking off our celebration of National Poetry Month: Stars Songs Faces