Like Taggard and later Pound, Sandburg engaged with socialism. Have your students reread some of Taggard's poems about working-class people. How do Sandburg's poems reflect his political leanings? What themes and images associate him with socialism? How does his work differ from Taggard's social critiques?
Like many modernists, Sandburg uses the symbol of the modern city in his work. Have your students take turns reading "Chicago" aloud. Ask them to critique each other's performances, paying close attention to intonation, emphasis, and rhythm. How does reading the poem aloud help them to appreciate it on a deeper level? Are they now better able to answer more complicated questions like the following: How does Sandburg's portrayal of the city differ from that of other modernists? How does his portrayal of the city seem uniquely American?
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