Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sandburg Project

In the opening passages of his book titled Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, Carl Sandburg offers the following scenario regarding people who played a role in the Civil War: 

If those who are gone who had their parts and roles in it could be summoned back to tell of the gaps and discrepancies, they might give unexpected answers to questions.  And many witnesses on being dug up and given speech might again be as noncommittal as ever on this or that circumstance (vii).

Why was Carl so intrigued by “the Second American Revolution” when he “was born a little less than thirteen years after 1865?” Even after perusing through his poem The People, Yes and scanning through the first two volumes of Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, I am still uncertain as to why Carl, Whitman and many others were so enthralled by Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War as a whole (especially considering they didn't take part in the war nor were they influential in making changes to the legislation that followed the war). Along the same line I still cannot understand why some people are so fascinated and drawn to the presidency of Barack Obama. I’ll blame it on my density and lack of education. So, as I tried to articulate a question for our group project while watching The Boondocks (an animated television series based on the comic strip by Aaron McGruder) it just so happened that the episode that I was watching was a depicting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr coming back to life in present-day United States.

Here is a portion of this episode that I believed was relevant to the question that I will be offering shortly:

Question: How do you think Carl and Walt would feel about how their poems are interpreted, utilized and, often times, misread if they were somehow reincarnated and brought back to present-day United States?  Furthermore, do you feel their poems are relevant to the issues we are currently facing i.e Occupy Wall Street Movement, The Tea Party Movement and the Anti-War Movement? Sandburg and Obama both have ties to the heartland of the United States, if Sandburg were alive, do you think he write a poem for our current president?  

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