BREATHING TOKENS by Carl Sandburg

BREATHING TOKENS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Planned for the centennial of Carl Sandburg's birth, this collection of previously unpublished work, edited by his daughter, reiterates the concerns which brought millions of readers to 30-odd previous books. Lifelong fans will devour this volume for its familiar interweavings of country landscapes and history, the everyday yearnings, passions, and ""good dreams"" of the living described in the title poem as ""worth dying for."" Even though few individual poems stand out, the work as a whole is a nostalgic recollection of a peculiarly American style, a plain-spoken monologue made famous internationally by poems like ""Fog."" Indeed, when in the final poem ""Chapters"" the writer tells ""And so. . . we must be going/ And so. . . this is all,"" we feel as if we are walking out a friend's back door after a particularly long, good supper. This is also, ironically, the volume's major weakness: Sandburg's grass-roots style is so distinctive that later poems often seem a parody of the earlier work. Nonetheless, this collection remains a fitting tribute to a great poet, by virtue of the familiarity and impact of his past oeuvre, and the passionate, undeniable optimism which lasted into his last years and poems.

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 1977
ISBN: 1590910389
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich