May 28, 2006


Imagine a time, an era, in this American country, where a poet could be on the cover of a magazine. It's a strange thought. Look at that weird eye of his. People with a stray eye are never on the cover of anything anymore; it's a shame. The left eye is accusing, the right one believes in the good of man and loves you from the start.

Carl Sandburg had the same exact haircut from the time he was old enough to have a haircut til the time he was dead.

Carl Sandburg was invoked and refamoused a bit last years because he came to Sufjan in a dream, in a dream in a song that many people liked and asked "are you writing from the heart?". Maybe spectral-Sandburg was being protective, like a father, whether Sufjan was worthy the city-as-a-muse. Seems about right a line of questioning for him; in the introduction to Harvest Poems 1910-1960, Mark Van Doren says Sandburg can be boiled down to those final lines of "Grass": What place is this? / Where are we now?. Tuff rhetoricals seem to be his forte.

I'm still just getting familiar, 57 pages in, but the getting is easy.

from "Gone":
So we all love a wild girl keeping a hold
On a dream she wants

There is an entire summer in that line!

Posted by Jessica at May 28, 2006 12:39 PM | TrackBack