Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

The popular American poetry of 1916 tended to be sentimental and cliché-ridden. What contrasting qualities in Carl Sandburg’s poem “Chicago” would have been much appreciated by perceptive readers of the time?

In Sandburg’s poem “Grass,” how does his imaginative handling of grass differ from Walt Whitman’s in Song of Myself (1855)?

Which poet, Sandburg or Robert Frost, deserves more credit for using “the language of the American people” effectively in poetry?

What qualifications did Sandburg bring to his biography of Abraham Lincoln?

Is William Carlos Williams’s charge that Sandburg had no unifying imaginative vision a just one?