“I am an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way.” Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)
An author, songwriter, and poet, Carl Sandburg wrote about the hopes, dreams, struggles, and triumphs of everyday Americans. He won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for a biography of Abraham Lincoln and the other for a collection of his poems.
The son of Swedish immigrants, he spent his life exploring and defining what it means to be a citizen of this country. He revered the working class, which he considered to be the backbone of the nation. His works include Always the Young Strangers, an autobiography; Remembrance Rock, a novel; and several books of poetry.
A native of Illinois, Sandburg spent most of his life in and around Chicago, the city that inspired his most famous poem, Fog:
The fog comes in
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
Sandburg moved to North Carolina in 1945 at the request of his wife. Their home, named Connemara by a previous owner, sits on 264 lush acres planted with gardens, criss-crossed by five miles of trails, and still inhabited by three breeds of goats favored by Mrs. Sandburg’s.
Visit Connemara to learn more about Sandburg’s writing and to drink in the quietude of western North Carolina. Walk around Front Lake, to the top of Big and Little Glassy Mountains, and through a forest of oak and hickory. Along the way, look for more than 100 species of birds that frequent the park.
Amid the peaceful beauty of Connemara, it’s easy to ignore Sandburg’s warning to a friend, “If one is not careful, one allows diversions to take up one’s time – the stuff of life."
If You Go:
Tour the interior of Sandburg’s home, which contains thousands of artifacts of the writer’s life.
Did You Know:
Mrs. Sandburg bred three different types of goats. Park rangers continue her tradition today in the goat dairy farm at the Carl Sandburg Home.
spectacular during the fall leaf season.