Follow Carl Sandburg to Rootabaga Country: an excerpt from ‘The Day Carl Sandburg Died.’
See and hear Carl Sandburg’s Chicago in a scene from The Day Carl Sandburg Died. It’s a city that’s the archetype of America: where we all come from. And, that’s what came through in Sandburg’s work from when he first wrote “Chicago” and published it as a part of Chicago Poems in 1916.
See and hear Paul Bonesteel, writer, director and editor of ‘The Day Carl Sandburg Died,’ talk about how the film was made: the process, the characters, the interviews, and the history.
Hear Carl Sandburg sing, ‘I Ride an Old Paint,’ recorded sometime in the 1930s or 40s, and published as a part of his The American Songbag. Sandburg: ‘The song smells of saddle leather, sketches ponies and landscapes, and varies in theme from a realistic presentation of the drab Bill Jones and his violent wife to an ethereal prayer and cry of phantom tone.’
The late and great Norman Corwin was from the generation after Carl Sandburg’s. Writing for radio in the 1930s and 40s, Corwin’s broadcast titles included, “The Plot to Overthrow Christmas,” a drama entirely in rhyming verse in which demons and historical figures from Hell tried to destroy Christmas, and “They Fly through the Air with the Greatest of Ease,” a gutty reaction to the Spanish Civil War. Corwin used the airwaves for morality plays–a medium to comment on society through entertainment.
See and hear Corwin on how he tried to echo Sandburg throughout his life.
Dr. Penelope Niven is the author of Carl Sandburg: A Biography and Carl Sandburg: Adventures of a Poet. In a series of filmed interviews, see and hear Dr. Niven talk about the life and times of Carl Sandburg.
The life and times of Carl Sandburg as told by Sandburg biographer, Penelope Niven.
It’s American Masters radio: the other AM, on the podcast dial.
For this hour, ‘Meet Carl Sandburg,’ from NBC Radio’s Biography in Sound series. This 1955 broadcast is a documentary in sound about the poet, author, musician, and historian, Carl Sandburg: all told through readings and songs from Sandburg, as well as interviews with the people that knew him–describing him as if he were as big as Paul Bunyan.
Carl Sandburg was, as he said it, ‘The Eternal Hobo.’
For much of the 20th century, Sandburg was synonymous with the American experience, a spokesman on behalf of ‘the people.’ One of the most successful writers in the English language, Sandburg was a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner for his poetry (Cornhuskers, 1918, and Complete Poems, 1950) as well as part of his six-volume Lincoln biography (Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, 1939). He was also a groundbreaking journalist, folk song collector, children’s storyteller, political organizer and activist, novelist, biographer, and captivating performer. Yet, after his death, Sandburg’s literary legacy faded and his poems, once taught in schools across America, were dismissed under the weight of massive critical attack.
‘The Day Carl Sandburg Died’ features original interviews with Sandburg’s daughter Helga Sandburg Crile, his grandson John Carl Steichen, as well as Pete Seeger, the late and great Studs Terkel and Norman Corwin, poets including Ted Kooser, Marc Kelly Smith and Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Grammy-winning musician Dan Zanes, Sandburg biographer Penelope Niven, Ph.D., and notable scholars share stories about Sandburg and reflect on the modern relevance of his vast body of work, including Chicago Poems (1916), The American Songbag (1927), and The People, Yes (1936).
‘The Day Carl Sandburg Died’ finds Sandburg’s life story and creative legacy as relevant and provocative today as it was in 1916 when Chicago Poems changed American writing.
Production credits for the film, The Day Carl Sandburg Died.