Culture Magazine

The 10 Best Quotes by Carl Sandburg

By Urbanmatter Chicago @UMatterChicago

carl sandburg

All Chicagoans are special in their own way, but some have truly stood the test of time.

For those who might not know, Carl Sandburg (January 6, 1878 – July 22, 1967) is an important figure in American contemporary literature, and he hailed from right here in the Windy City. From the smoky skies of the city to the grassy outskirts, he wrote about everything that inspired him. For most of us natives, we remember reading his memorable poems in grade school.

In honor of today, the writer’s birthday, here are our picks for the best Carl Sandburg quotes. Some are funny, some insightful, and some are about Chicago itself. Nevertheless, each one will make you proud to be from this amazing city.

What’s your favorite quote about Chicago? Tell us in the comments below!

“The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring.”

“Time is the coin of your life. You spend it. Do not allow others to spend it for you.”

“I doubt if you can have a truly wild party without liquor.”

“I’m either going to be a writer or a bum.”

“By night the skyscraper looms in the smoke and the stars and has a soul.”

“Beware of advice – even this.”

“Nothing happens unless we first dream.”

“Here is the difference between Dante, Milton, and me. They wrote about hell and never saw the place. I wrote about Chicago after looking the town over for years and years.”

“Hog butcher for the world, tool maker, stacker of wheat, player with railroads and the nation’s freight handler; stormy, husky, brawling, city of big shoulders.”

“Here I saw a city rise and say to the peoples round world: Listen, I am strong, I know what I want.”

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