90 Great Carl Sandburg Quotes From The Award-Winning Poet

Carl Sanburg wrote poetry in free verse.
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Poet Carl Sandbur was born in Illinois into a poor family in Galesburg, Illinois on 6 January 1878, and died on 22 July 1967.

He primarily composed poetry in free verse. His first poem was published by Harriet Monroe in the Poetry Magazine.

Sandburg's poetry collection was highly regarded and he received the Pulitzer Prize for 'Corn Huskers' (1918) as well as a book he wrote about Abraham Lincoln. His other books on poetry include 'The people, Yes' (1936), 'Good Morning' (1928), 'Slabs of the Sunburnt West'(1922), and 'Smoke and Steel' (1920). Apart from poetry, Sandburg is a renowned writer as well. He has written texts like, 'Rootabaga Pigeons' and 'Potato Face' which were unpublished. Sandburg had six high schools and five elementary schools named after him. He also was part of conferences held at the White House. Here we will be listing quotes by Carl Sandburg. If you like our quotes about Carl Sandburg and quotes from the author his poems, then check out [Robert Frost quotes] and  [Elizabeth Barrett Browning quotes] too.

Carl Sandburg Poem Quotes

Young Carl Sandburg worked various jobs before he served in the Spanish-American war. Here are some Carl Sandburg quotes inspired by his life and poems.

Sandburg's account on the life of Abraham Lincoln won a Pulitzer prize.

1."Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance."

-Carl Sandburg

2."If it jells into free verse, all right. If it jells into Rhyme, all right."

-Carl Sandburg, 'Complete poems'

3."There is a formal poetry only in form, all dressed up and nowhere to go..."

-Carl Sandburg

4."A proficient and sometimes exquisite performer in Rhymed verse goes out of his way to register the point that the more rhyme there is in poetry the more danger of its tricking the writer into something other than the urge in the beginning."

-Carl Sandburg

5."Poetry is a pack-sack of invisible keepsakes."

-Carl Sandburg, 'Good Morning America'

6."Poetry is a sky dark with a wild duck migration."

-Carl Sandburg

7."Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in and out of your head."

-Carl Sandburg, 'Arithemetic'

8."Poetry is synthetic of hyacinths and biscuits."

-Carl Sandburg  

9."Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what was seen during a moment."

-Carl Sandburg

10."I've written some poetry I don't understand myself."

-Carl Sandburg

11."I am stone and steel of your sleeping numbers; I remember all you forgot. I will die as many times as you make me over again."

-Carl Sandburg  

12."Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands, and goes to work."

-Carl Sandburg

13."The sea speaks a language polite people never repeat. It is a colossal scavenger slang and has no respect."

-Carl Sandburg

14."A liar is a liar and lives on lies he tells and dies in a life of lies."

-Carl Sandburg

15."Poetry is a diary kept by a sea creature who lives on land and wishes he could fly."

-Carl Sandburg

16."It was here we turned the coffee cups upside down. And your eyes and the moon swept the valley."

-Carl Sandburg

Inspirational Carl Sandburg Quotes

In the text consisting of poems, 'Good Morning America', he published 38 definitions of poetry. Sandberg as a poet was known to America as 'the singing bard'. Here are poet Carl Sandburg quotes to inspire you.

17."I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going but I'm on my way.'

-Carl Sandburg

18."Such a big miracle in such a tiny baby. Big things often have small beginnings. A baby is God's opinion that life should go on...A baby, whether it does anything to you, represents life."

-Carl Sandburg

19."The moon is friend for the lonesome to talk to."

-Carl Sandburg

20."Nothing happens unless first a dream."

-Carl Sandburg

21."My name is truth and I am the most elusive captive in the universe."

-Carl Sandburg

22."Two bubbles found they had rainbows on their curves. They flickered out saying: 'It was worth being a bubble, just to have held that rainbow thirty seconds.'"

-Carl Sandburg  

23."Let your heart look on a white sea spray and be lonely...You and a ring of stars may mention my name and then forget me. "

-Carl Sandburg  

24."By night the skyscraper looms in the smoke and the stars has a soul."

-Carl Sandburg

25."There is a music for lonely hearts nearly always. If the music dies down there is a silence. Almost the same as the movement of music. To know silence perfectly is to know music."

-Carl Sandburg

26."Tell no man anything, for no man listens yet hold thy lips ready to speak."

-Carl Sandburg

27."After the sunsets on the prairie, there are only the stars."

-Carl Sandburg

28."A book is never a masterpiece: It becomes one. Genius is the talent of a dead man."

-Carl Sandburg

29."I never made a mistake in grammar but one in my life and as soon as I done it I seen it."

-Carl Sandburg

30."And we all love a wild girl keeping a hold On a dream she wants."

-Carl Sandburg

31."Read the dictionary from A to izzard today. Get a vocabulary. Brush up your diction. See whether wisdom is just a lot of language."

-Carl Sandburg

32."Revolt and terror pay a price. Order and law have a cost."

-Carl Sandburg

33."Have I, Have you, been too silent? Is there an easy crime of silence?"

-Carl Sandburg

34."Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it runs by."

-Carl Sandburg

35."The secret to happiness is to admire without desiring."

-Carl Sandburg

36."To know silence perfectly is to know music."

-Carl Sandburg

37."Enough small empty boxes thrown into a big empty box fill it full."

-Carl Sandburg

38."One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude."

-Carl Sandburg

39."Every blunder behind us is giving a cheer for us, and only those who were willing to fail are the dangers and splendors of life."

-Carl Sandburg

40."There are people who want to be everywhere at once, and they get nowhere."

-Carl Sandburg  

41."Hope is an echo, hope ties itself yonder, yonder."

-Carl Sandburg

42."I cried over beautiful things, knowing no beautiful thing lasts."

-Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg Famous Quotes About Life

Carl Sandburg was the first private citizen to deliver an address before a joint session in Congress on 12 February 1959. The American author and poet did some amazing things, so here are some amazing Carl Sandburg quotes on life.

A Sandburg Archive is maintained in the Sandburg Room at the University of Illinois.

43."Life is like an onion; you peel it off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep."

-Carl Sandburg

44."Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you."

-Carl Sandburg

45."Time is a sandpile we run our fingers in."

-Carl Sandburg

46."Chicago: The city was hog butcher for the world, toolmaker, stacker of wheat...city of the big shoulders."

-Carl Sandburg

47."Come clean with a child heart Laugh as peaches in summer in the summer wind. Let rain on a house roof be a song. Let the writing on your face be a smell of apple orchards on late June."

-Carl Sandburg

48."My father couldn't sign his name, he made his mark on the CB&Q  payroll sheet."

-Carl Sandburg

49."There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud."

-Carl Sandburg

50."My mother was able to read scriptures in her native language, but she could not write, and I wrote of Abraham Lincoln, whose own mother could not read and write! I guess somewhere along in this you'll find a story of America."

-Carl Sandburg

51."Anger is the most impotent of passions. It effects nothing it goes about and hurts the one who is possessed it more than the one against whom it is directed."

-Carl Sandburg

52."I take you and pile high the memories. Death will break her claws on some I keep."

-Carl Sandburg

53."To be out of jail....to eat regular...to get what I write printed...a little love at home and a little nice affection hither and you over the American landscape...[and] to sing every day."

-Carl Sandburg

54."Give me hunger, pain, and want, Shut me out with shame and failure From your doors of gold and fame, give me your shabbiest, weirdest hunger! But leave me a little love."

-Carl Sandburg  

55."Our lives are like a candle in the wind."

-Carl Sandburg

56."In these times you have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you awake in the morning."

-Carl Sandburg

57."There are some people who can receive a truth by no other means than to have their understanding shocked and insulted."

-Carl Sandburg

58."Sometimes they'll give war and nobody will come."

-Carl Sandburg

59."Yesterday and tomorrow cross and mix on the skyline. The two are lost in a purple haze. One forgets, one waits."

-Carl Sandburg

60."The past is a bucket of ashes."

-Carl Sandburg

61."We can never possibly know what is about to happen: it is happening, each time, for the first time, for the only time."

-Carl Sandburg

62."There is only one child in the world and the child's name is All Children."

-Carl Sandburg

63."The single clenched fist lifted and ready, Or the open asking hand held out and waiting. Choose: for we meet by one or the other."

-Carl Sandburg

64."I won't take religion from any man who never works except with his mouth."

-Carl Sandburg  

65."Someday they will give war and nobody will come."

-Carl Sandburg

66."The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on."

-Carl Sandburg

67."Wishes left on your lips The mark of their wings. Regrets fly kites in your eyes."

-Carl Sandburg

68."A tough will counts. So does desire. So does a rich soft wanting. Without rich wanting nothing arrives."

-Carl Sandburg

69."There are some people so lonely; they think God is lonely too"

-Carl Sandburg

70."Love your neighbor as yourself, but don't take down the fence."

-Carl Sandburg

71."To be a good loser is to learn how to win."

-Carl Sandburg

72."Money is power, freedom, a cushion, the root of all evil, the sum of blessings."

-Carl Sandburg

73."A politician should have three hats. One for throwing into the ring, one for talking through, and one for pulling rabbits out if elected."

-Carl Sandburg

74."Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me."

-Carl Sandburg

75."Back of every mistaken venture and defeat is the laughter of wisdom if you listen."

-Carl Sandburg

76."The greatest cunning to have is none at all."

-Carl Sandburg

77."Freedom is baffling: men having it often know not they have it till it is gone and they no longer have it."

-Carl Sandburg

78."Men of ideas vanish when freedom vanishes."

-Carl Sandburg

79."It's the business of little minds to shrink."

-Carl Sandburg

80."The people know what the land knows."

-Carl Sandburg

81."You know being born is more important to you. You know nothing else was ever so important to you."

-Carl Sandburg

82."A man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in order, in order to die he must first awake."

-Carl Sandburg

83."Who am I, Where have I been, and Where am I going?"

-Carl Sandburg

84."Never will a time come when the most marvelous recent invention is as marvelous as a newborn child."

-Carl Sandburg

85."Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by."

-Carl Sandburg

86."All human actions are equivalent...and all are on principle doomed to failure."

-Carl Sandburg

87."I learned you can't trust the judgment of good friends."

-Carl Sandburg

89."I fell in love, not deep, but I fell several times and then fell out."

-Carl Sandburg

90."Valor is a gift. Those having it never know for sure whether they have it till the test comes. And those having it in one test never know for sure if they will have it when the next time comes."

-Carl Sandburg

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Carl Sandburg quotes then why not take a look at [Mark Nepo quotes], or [Robert Burns quotes].

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