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Made by Washburn

Carl wrote to his Carla shortly after they married, “I forgot to tell you that…(we) now have a guitar and there will be songs warbled and melodies whistled to the low Mexican thrumming of Paula and Cully’s {nickname for Carl} new stringed instrument….”

From then on Carl Sandburg developed an intimate relationship with the guitar. He only learned a few chords, but shared his love of this instrument with his audiences by playing music and singing to them at the end of his poetry recitals and lectures.

Sandburg developed definitions for the guitar as he had with his poetry definitions in his book, Good Morning America. The definitions were published in the Guitar Review in 1951. Here are a few excerpts:
A small friend weighing less than a newborn infant, ever responsive to all sincere efforts aimed at mutual respect, depth of affection or love gone off the deep end.
A device in the realm of harmonic creation whose six silent strings have the sound potential of profound contemplation or happy-go-lucky whim.
A highly evolved contrivance whereby delicate melodic moments mingle with punctuation of silence bringing the creative hush. Guitar Review, no. 12, 1951

Wood, metal, cords. L 94.5, W 39.5, H 9 cm
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, CARL 111681