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Edgar Allen Poe
Born in Boston in 1809, Edgar Poe was destined to lead a rather somber and brief life, most of it
a struggle against poverty. His mother died when Edgar was only two, his father already long
disappeared. He was raised as a foster child in Virginia by Frances Allen and her husband John, a
Richmond tobacco merchant.
Poe later lived in Baltimore with his aunt, Maria Clemm and her daughter Virginia, whom he
eventually married. The trio formed a household which moved to New York and then to
Philadelphia, where they lived for about six years -- apparently the happiest, most productive
years of his life. Of Poe\'s several Philadelphia homes, only this one survives.
In 1844 they moved to New York, where Poe briefly owned his own journal. Tuberculosis took
Virginia\'s life in 1847, drawing it from her slowly after the fashion of this cruel affliction. Poe\'s
subsequent decline was as tragic as it was rapid. In 1849 Edgar Allen Poe died in delirium of
"acute congestion of the brain."
There is a very bright side to Poe\'s life, however, that the rest of us have enjoyed, if not the man
himself. His prose and poetry have forever changed the course of storytelling, setting standards
that many authors have striven to meet and still do. Poe is widely recognized as the inventor of
the modern mystery with his "Murders in the Rue Morgue" (written in Philadelphia). Here
detective Cesar A. Dupin solved crimes through a process of rational thinking Poe called
ratiocination. Dupin was the predecessor of Arthur Conan Doyle\'s Sherlock Holmes and Agatha
Christie\'s Hercule Poirot.
Edgar Allen Poe is probably most famous for his macabre tales such as "The Raven", "The
Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Fall of the House of Usher" (the latter two written in Philadelphia,
along with other famous stories and poems).
A Dream Within a Dream
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow -
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of golden sand -
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep - while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
one from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
by Edgar Allen Poe
Carl August Sandburg was born the son of Swedish immigrants August and Clara Anderson
Sandburg. The elder Sandburg, a blacksmith\'s helper for the nearby Chicago, Burlington and
Quincy Railroad, purchased the cottage in 1873. Carl, called "Charlie" by the family, was born the
second of seven children in 1878. A year later the Sandburgs sold the small cottage in favor of a
larger house in Galesburg.
Carl Sandburg worked from the time he was a young boy. He quit school following his graduation
from eighth grade in 1891 and spent a decade working a variety of jobs. He delivered milk,
harvested ice, laid bricks, threshed wheat in Kansas, and shined shoes in Galesburg\'s Union Hotel
before traveling as a hobo in 1897.
His experiences working and traveling greatly influenced his writing and political views. As a
hobo he learned a number of folk songs, which he later performed at speaking engagements. He
saw first-hand the sharp contrast between rich and poor, a dichotomy that instilled in him a
distrust of capitalism.
When the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898 Sandburg volunteered for service, and at the
age of twenty was ordered to Puerto Rico, where he spent days battling only heat and
mosquitoes. Upon his return to his hometown later that year, he entered Lombard College,
supporting himself as a call fireman.
Sandburg\'s college years shaped his literary talents and political views. While at Lombard,
Sandburg joined the Poor Writers\' Club, an informal literary organization whose members met to
read and criticize poetry. Poor Writers\' founder, Lombard professor Phillip Green Wright, a
talented scholar and political liberal, encouraged the talented young Sandburg.
Writer, Political Organizer,
Sandburg honed his writing skills and adopted the socialist views of his mentor before leaving
school in his senior year. Sandburg
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American literature, Literature, Carl Sandburg, House of Vasa, Poetry by Edgar Allan Poe, Edgar Allan Poe, Chicago Poems, Chicago, The Raven, Rootabaga Stories, Poe, Carl Sandburg bibliography
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