Cover for SANDBURG: Ever the Winds of Chance: Poems. Click for larger image

Ever the Winds of Chance


Now published for the first time, Ever the Winds of Chance is Sandburg's evocative sequel to Always the Young Strangers (1953), "the best autobiography ever written by an American" (Robert E. Sherwood, New York Times). Though left unfinished at his death, the sequel provides a wry, nostalgic chronicle of Sandburg's college years and early adulthood, a restless decade for a young man still in quest of his calling.

Ever the Winds of Chance opens in 1898 when the twenty-year-old Sandburg, recently returned from the Spanish-American war, enrolls at Lombard College in his native Galesburg, Illinois. Sandburg writes about his job at the fire station; his teachers, inspired or otherwise; his classmates and their camaraderie; his observations on great literary works and writers; and his own writings for the school newspaper, literary review, and yearbook and for the Galesburg Mail. But he also includes much about life between school years and after college, recounting his various brief careers as a fireman, salesman of stereoscopic views, advertising copywriter, vagabond, "jailbird," and budding poet and socialist. Together these reminiscences provide an intimate look at the formative years of a preeminent figure in American letters.

"Fascinating. . . . Ever the Winds of Chance is a seeker's tale, the portrait of a boy finding his direction in life, and one that binds with the spell of unexpected intimacy."--San Diego Magazine

"This is a thoroughly delightful memoir, written out of nothing more than the sheer joy, and sometimes pain, of remembering. Sandburg summons up the past with a vividness and particularity which is really quite extraordinary. A perfectly lovely, fresh, and unaffected piece of writing."--William H. Pritchard, author of Lives of the Modern Poets

Margaret Sandburg, the daughter of Carl and Lilian Steichen Sandburg, lives in Asheville, North Carolina. In 1978 she edited Breathing Tokens, her father's unpublished poems. She is now preparing for publication the love letters exchanged between her parents. George Hendrick is professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author and editor of numerous books and articles on American literature including Toward the Making of Thoreau's Modern Reputation (with Fritz Oehlshlaeger).

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