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...

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