Poetry: American Troubadour

It could be, in the grace of God, that I shall live to be 89, as did Hokusai, and speaking my farewell to earthly scenes, I might paraphrase: "If God had let me live five years longer, I should have been a writer."

Carl Sandburg did not need the ex tra five years. When he died last week at 89 — the same age as the early 19th century Japanese painter — on his goat farm near Flat Rock, N.C., he was solidly established as a poet and historian.

Above all, he was a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!