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Carl Sandburg and Analysis of Literary Works

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Caitlin Osburn

on 29 August 2016

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Transcript of Carl Sandburg and Analysis of Literary Works

The Road and the End
About Carl Sandburg
The Road and the End
A man is walking down a road at dusk. Shadows of hunger wander away and fugitives of pain leave. The man continues to walk. It is quiet in the morning as the night turns into day. Slow winds come as trees line the path and tower to the sky. There are broken boulders along the road. He walks on the gravel under his foot. He watches for slim birds to fly by. Wind and thunder bring the rain. As he walks the dust from the road touches his hands and face.
Desolate and lone
Where fog trails and mist creeps,
The whistle of a boat
Calls and cries unendingly,
Like some lost child
In tears and trouble
Hunting the harbor's breast
And the harbor's eyes
The Road and the End
I SHALL foot it
Down the roadway in the dusk,
Where shapes of hunger wander
And the fugitives of pain go by.
I shall foot it
In the silence if the morning,
See the night slur into dawn,
Hear the slow great winds arise
Where tall trees flank the way
And shoulder toward the sky
The broken boulders by the road
Shall not commemorate my ruin. Regret shall be the gravel under foot.
I shall watch for
Slim birds of swift wing
That go where wind and ranks of thunder
Drive the wild processionals of rain.
The dust of the traveled road
Shall touch my hands and face.
Carl Sandburg and Analysis of Literary Works
The Road and the End
The poem begins with hopeless imagery, using the words "desolate" and "lone." A boat sits all night long by a lake. The environment is uncomfortable, consisting of fog and mist rising off the body of water. The boat continuously sends out a signal of distress through some sort of "whistle" sound; it cuts through the silence and continues to do so un-endingly. This sound is compared to a "lost child" that is desperate. The boat cries on in search of the harbor. The last two lines could also be taken as the child searching the harbor instead of the boat.
Carl Sandburg was born on January 6, 1878, in Galesburg, Illinois
He dropped out of school at the age of thirteen to help support his family
He later enrolled in Lombard College located within his hometown of Galesburg, Illinois
He never recieved a diploma
At age 17, he became a hobo before enlisting in the Spanish American War
The title is "Lost." I believe the poem will either be about being lost emotionally, or not being able to find a place in the world.
I believe the poem is about the journey you take through life until you reach the end.
There are many connotations throughout the poem. Most are figurative language:
The "shapes of hunger" represent the author's desires.
"Broken boulders by the road" are his broken dreams and promises.
"The slow great winds" represent change coming.
Watching for "slim birds of swift wings" is him watching for opportunities

"Regret shall be gravel under my feet" represents him overcoming his regrets but still feeling the pain
The dust touching his hands and face represent the hardships that we face in life
"Tall trees flank the way" are the ones in life who are there to guide you.
The Road and the End
The speaker uses a very serious and almost lonely tone. However; the tone is also determined, hopeful, and courageous
The Road and the End
The author changes his tone after the first two stanzas from lonely and quiet to hopeful and determined.
At the last two lines, the speaker almost sounds sorrowful and tired from the journey. He also uses time shifts, from day to night in the second stanza.
The Road and the End
After reading the poem, the title proves to sum up the poem, showing the hardships through the journey through life until you reach the end. You have to pass by and overcome your hardships and failures to be happy and successful by taking the long, tiring road to the end.
The Road and the End
The poet is trying to show how life is like a road you must follow. There are obstacles you must overcome and you must put the hardships aside so you can reach a happy end. The central theme is as you go through the journey of life, you need to put aside broken promises and dreams and overcome pain and regret and let the road guide you to a happy end. There are many hardships along the way and sudden changes may throw you off but there are others there to guide you.
Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
Key events in the time period he wrote were both world wars and the Great Depression.

His writings were influenced by his family, America and historical events in America, war, and facts of life. He wrote around the same time period as Langston Hughes, E. E. Cummings, and John Steinbeck.
Work Cited
Caitlin Osburn & Carlos Trincado

Mrs. Phelps

Period 7

10 December 2013
Work Cited

Carl Sandburg
Carl is the second oldest of six children. His parents, August and Clara Sandburg were Swedish immigrants. In 1908 he married Lilian Steichen with whom he had three children, Margaret, Janet, and Helga.
When the poem describes the trailing fog and mist creeping off of the lake, it helps to represent the lake as an ominous area.
The whistle of the boat stands for a hopeless call for help, without an answer. That is why it is compared to the desperate and sad child.
The "harbor's eyes" may be the representation of a lighthouse.
Sandburg uses the phrase "like some lost child in tears and trouble" because it symbolizes that one feeling that everyone knows because they have experienced it before.
The "harbor's breast" could mean the "harbor's heart" which is where the boat is longing to go because "the heart" is commonly thought of as the "safe place."
It could also be that the child is searching the harbor's breast for the boat, but the boat is lost. Therefore the child is lost as well (?)
There are quite a few negative attitudes and tones within "Lost"
The first two lines of the poem give a sense of loneliness. "Desolate and lone All night long on the lake..."
The second line radiates the word "ominous." "Where fog trails and mist creeps..."
The next four lines scream hopelessness and sadness. "The whistle of a boat
Calls and cries unendingly,
Like some lost child
In tears and trouble..."
The final two lines of the poem indicate desperation.
"Hunting the harbor's breast
And the harbor's eyes"
The speaker shifts between the attitudes/tones of desperation, lonliness, sadness, and ominousness. Generally, these tones are very similar.
The first couple of lines describe a lonely setting. The next line gives the image of an unsettling lake. The following four lines describe the call of a boat that is never to be answered, and the speaker compares this to a frustrated, lost child. The last two lines finish off the poem with a sense of desperation.
The title sums up the entire poem, both literally and symbolically. "Lost" (in a literal sense) is about a boat that will forever call out but will never be found. It is eternally lost. The boat is then compared to a lost child. Symbolically, the poem is describing how we as humans feel when we are lost, and how hopeless and lonely it can be when you are truly lost in the world.
The overall theme of the poem is that being lost to society or to oneself is one of the worst things a human can endure. It is a state of sadness, confusion, frustration, hopelessness and despair. There is no resolution to the poem, so it is difficult to decipher what the true lesson in "Lost" really is. It is called "Lost," not "Lost and Found."
Avoid becoming lost to yourself and the ones around you at all costs. The outcome is unsavory and undesirable.
Carl Sandburg
During his time writing, he was awarded the Levinson Prize, three Pulitzer Prizes, International United Poets Laureate award, honors from NAACP, as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Lyndon B. Johnson. He has also had multiple schools named after him as well as many other honors and awards.
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