Wednesday, March 29, 2006

'Don't forget about Paula'


During virtually every conversation with people who knew the Sandburgs or even people who have only read about them usually the comment comes "Don't forget about Paula".

Lilian Steichen Sandburg or ‘Paula’ was Carl's wife and 'comrade' in the socialist movement when they met. She typed his poems and mailed them into the earliest publications that started his career. She mothered and cared for his children and household while he was traveling from stage to stage or was hunkered down writing volumes of work.

She had homes built and renovated. She withstood his enormous popularity and became a highly respected breeder of goats, winning prizes and making milk while he met with presidents and performed on television.

Everyone who knew her spoke about her much the same way Carl did, that she was an angel of wisdom, competence and companionship.

She, very tangibly, helped make Sandburg the iconic figure he is today and will not be forgotten in our telling of his story.

3 comments:

Lincoln Buff 2 said...

Paul,

Not only Paula, but all the Sandburg-Steichen women, from Carl and Paula's mother, through his daughters, granddaughter, and great-granddaughters, are incredible.

Even young Skye Polega, who died much too young, was an amazing, brilliant young woman who lived life fully and left her mark.

Someday, someone needs to tell the story of the women behind and beyond the poet. They are as interesting as he is.

Ann

Buffy said...

I've been absorbed by this blog all evening. 'Don't Forget About Paula'. There's something very moving about those words and the relationship the Sandburgs shared.

I visited Connemara with a friend this fall, and she pointed out how wonderfully selfless Paula was to just leave everything behind after Carl died...for the people.

I'm glad we're not forgetting Paula.

Buffy said...

I've been absorbed by this blog all evening. 'Don't Forget About Paula'. There's something very moving about those words and the relationship the Sandburgs shared.

I visited Connemara with a friend this fall, and she pointed out how wonderfully selfless Paula was to just leave everything behind after Carl died...for the people.

I'm glad we're not forgetting Paula.