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Analysis Of Carl Sandburg's Cool Tombs

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Carl Sandburg, a novelist and poet, emphasizes ideas such as love, death, and many other themes in most of his works. He has complied many poems and novels throughout his career and many of his poems have been published in A Magazine of Verse (PBS). Overtime, the American people grew very fond of Sandburg, and he was commemorated as the “Poet of the People” in the United States. In “Cool Tombs”, Sandburg uses rousing diction and imagery to depict death as peaceful and restful, rather than frightening and terminal. Sandburg used stirring diction to convey death as peaceful. Death’s role in “Cool Tombs” is to show that “the ultimate peace is the silence of death” (Napierkowski, “Themes” 48). Sandburg portrays the peace in death through a variety…show more content…
Sandburg portrays the peace and restfulness in death through different words, such as “shoveled into the tombs”, “cash and collateral turned ashes”, and “streetful of people” (1, 2, 4). “Shoveled into the tombs” shows the importance of nothingness in which the body is just being “recycled to dust without sentiment and ceremony” (Napierkowski, “Themes” 46). This concept of nothingness stresses the silence of death in that peace is obtained. The “cash and collateral turned ashes” stresses the idea that earthly materials are not taken to the grave with you. In other words the “streetful of people” and the hero are no different because “all people…are finally united at the grave”, so “death remains unimpressed by wealth, power or even virtue” (Napierkowski and Evans, 48, 8). So when Sandburg addresses the “streetful of people”, he is implying that the common man is no different than “/the most famous…to the most noble [men]” because everyone will be finally together at the grave (Evans 5-6). The “streetful of people” throwing confetti also shows the death should be celebrated and not looked frowned upon. Carl Sandburg employs the diction and imagery in “Cool Tombs” to show how death is the ultimate equalizer and peacekeeper in order to gain the ultimate silence. “Cool Tombs” is an important piece of American literature in that death should be seen as enlightening and peaceful. Death doesn’t matter about your earthly accomplishments because everyone ends up at the grave. Everyone from the president of the United States, to the common man will all meet at the grave. This poem will forever serve as a reminder in American literature in that death is peaceful, rather than
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