CHICAGO POEMS

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Song At Sunset

Splendor of ended day, floating and filling me!
Hour prophetic-hour resuming the past!
Inflating my throat-you, divine average!
You, Earth and Life, till the last ray gleams, I sing.
.....

Walt Whitman
Burbank With A Baedeker: Bleistein With A Cigar

Tra-la-la-la-la-la-laire-nil nisi divinum stabile
est; caetera fumus-the gondola stopped, the old
palace was there, how charming its grey and pink-
goats and monkeys, with such hair too!-so the
.....

T. S. Eliot
Epilogue

O Chansons foregoing
You were a seven days' wonder.
When you came out in the magazines
You created considerable stir in Chicago,
.....

Ezra Pound
Chicago

Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
.....

Carl Sandburg
Fellow Citizens

I drank musty ale at the Illinois Athletic Club with
the millionaire manufacturer of Green River butter
one night
And his face had the shining light of an old-time Quaker,
.....

Carl Sandburg
Mamie

Mamie beat her head against the bars of a little Indiana
town and dreamed of romance and big things off
somewhere the way the railroad trains all ran.
She could see the smoke of the engines get lost down
.....

Carl Sandburg
Picnic Boat

Sunday night and the park policemen tell each other it
is dark as a stack of black cats on Lake Michigan.
A big picnic boat comes home to Chicago from the peach
farms of Saugatuck.
.....

Carl Sandburg
Poems Done On A Late Night Car

I. CHICKENS

I am The Great White Way of the city:
When you ask what is my desire, I answer:
.....

Carl Sandburg
Sunset From Omaha Hotel Window

Into the blue river hills
The red sun runners go
And the long sand changes
And to-day is a goner
.....

Carl Sandburg
Off The Turnpike

Good ev'nin', Mis' Priest.
I jest stepped in to tell you Good-bye.
Yes, it's all over.
All my things is packed
.....

Amy Lowell
Aner Clute

Over and over they used to ask me,
While buying the wine or the beer,
In Peoria first, and later in Chicago,
Denver, Frisco, New York, wherever I lived
.....

Edgar Lee Masters
Barney Hainsfeather

If the excursion train to Peoria
Had just been wrecked, I might have escaped with my life-
Certainly I should have escaped this place.
But as it was burned as well, they mistook me
.....

Edgar Lee Masters
Carl Hamblin

The press of the Spoon River Clarion was wrecked,
And I was tarred and feathered,
For publishing this on the day the Anarchists were hanged in Chicago:
“I saw a beautiful woman with bandaged eyes
.....

Edgar Lee Masters
Dora Williams

When Reuben Pantier ran away and threw me
I went to Springfield. There I met a lush,
Whose father just deceased left him a fortune.
He married me when drunk.
.....

Edgar Lee Masters
Ippolit Konovaloff

I was a gun-smith in Odessa.
One night the police broke in the room
Where a group of us were reading Spencer.
And seized our books and arrested us.
.....

Edgar Lee Masters
John Hancock Otis

As to democracy, fellow citizens,
Are you not prepared to admit
That I, who inherited riches and was to the manner born,
Was second to none in Spoon River
.....

Edgar Lee Masters
John Horace Burleson

I won the prize essay at school
Here in the village,
And published a novel before I was twenty-five.
I went to the city for themes and to enrich my art;
.....

Edgar Lee Masters
Lambert Hutchins

I have two monuments besides this granite obelisk:
One, the house I built on the hill,
With its spires, bay windows, and roof of slate;
The other, the lake-front in Chicago,
.....

Edgar Lee Masters
An Account Of The Poem Games

In the summer of 1916 in the parlor of Mrs. William Vaughn Moody;
and in the following winter in the Chicago Little Theatre,
under the auspices of Poetry, A Magazine of Verse; and in Mandel Hall,
the University of Chicago, under the auspices of the Senior Class,-
.....

Vachel Lindsay
The Santa Fe Trail

(A Humoresque)


I asked the old Negro, “What is that bird that sings so well?”
.....

Vachel Lindsay
This, My Song, Is Made For Kerensky

(Being a Chant of the American Soap-Box and the Russian Revolution.)


O market square, O slattern place,
.....

Vachel Lindsay
An Ode In Time Of Hesitation

I

Before the solemn bronze Saint Gaudens made
To thrill the heedless passer's heart with awe,
.....

William Vaughn Moody
A Proper Trewe Idyll Of Camelot

Whenas ye plaisaunt Aperille shoures have washed and purged awaye
Ye poysons and ye rheums of earth to make a merrie May,
Ye shraddy boscage of ye woods ben full of birds that syng
Right merrilie a madrigal unto ye waking spring,
.....

Eugene Field
In Flanders

Through sleet and fogs to the saline bogs
Where the herring fish meanders,
An army sped, and then, ‘t is said,
Swore terribly in Flanders:
.....

Eugene Field
To Hon Jesse Holdom Of Chicago, On Receipt Of His Picture And That Of His Baby In His Arms

Far from the great lake's pride,
Over the ocean vast,
Two faces picture, side by side,
The future and the past.
.....

John L. Stoddard
Rhyme Of Oxford Cockney Rhymes—(exhibited In The Oxford Magazine)

Though Keats rhymed “ear” to “Cytherea,”
And Morris “dawn” to “morn,”
A worse example, it is clear,
By Oxford Dons is “shorn.”
.....

Andrew Lang
Jesse James

Jesse James was a lad who killed many a man.
He robbed the Glendale train.
He stole from the rich and he gave to the poor,
He-d a hand and a heart and a brain.
.....

Anonymous Americas
Three-legged Man

Well now friends you'll never guess it so I really must confess it
I just met the sweetest woman of my long dismal life.
But a friend of mine said, 'Buddy, just in case your mind is muddy,
Don't you know that girl you're fooling with is Peg-Leg Johnson's wife.
.....

Shel Silverstein
Beans Taste Fine

Now a friend of mine, way back in Chicago
You know, he finally made his pile.
Well he got himself a mansion on Butler and Sheff
An' he was livin' in the latest style;
.....

Shel Silverstein
Changing Of The Seasons

Oh the changing of the seasons it's a pretty thing to see
And though I find this balmy weather pleasin'
There's the wind come from tomorrow and I hear it callin' me
And I'm bound for the changing of the seasons
.....

Shel Silverstein
A Power-plant

The Fisk Street turbine power station in Chicago

The invisible wheels go softly round and round-
Light is the tread of brazen-footed Power.
.....

Harriet Monroe
An Ode In Time Of Hesitation

After seeing at Boston the statue of Robert Gould Shaw, killed while storming Fort Wagner, July 18, 1863, at the head of the first enlisted negro regiment, the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts.


I
.....

William Vaughn Moody
(poem) (chicago) (the Were-age)

'My age, my beast!' - Osip Mandelstam

On the lips a taste of tolling we are blind
The light drifts like dust over faces
.....

Bill Knott
Fear Is What Quickens Me

1

Many animals that our fathers killed in America
Had quick eyes.
.....

James Arlington Wright
Freedom's Plow

When a man starts out with nothing,
When a man starts out with his hands
Empty, but clean,
When a man starts to build a world,
.....

Langston Hughes
The Great Fire Of Ingersoll

Written at the time of the disaster.

'Twas on a pleasant eve in May.
Just as the sun shed its last ray,
.....

James Mcintyre
A Hedge Of Rubber Trees

The West Village by then was changing; before long
the rundown brownstones at its farthest edge
would have slipped into trendier hands. She lived,
impervious to trends, behind a potted hedge of
.....

Amy Clampitt
Chicago

Men said at vespers: 'All is well!'
In one wild night the city fell;
Fell shrines of prayer and marts of gain
Before the fiery hurricane.
.....

John Greenleaf Whittier
Youth

Strange bird,
His song remains secret.
He worked too hard to read books.
He never heard how Sherwood Anderson
.....

James Arlington Wright
A Poem For Myself

I was born in Mississippi;
I walked barefooted thru the mud.
Born black in Mississippi,
Walked barefooted thru the mud.
.....

Etheridge Knight
Of Him I Love Day And Night

OF him I love day and night, I dream'd I heard he was dead;
And I dream'd I went where they had buried him I love--but he was not
in that place;
And I dream'd I wander'd, searching among burial-places, to find him;
.....

Walt Whitman
Hoodlums

I AM a hoodlum, you are a hoodlum, we and all of us are a world of hoodlums-maybe so.
I hate and kill better men than I am, so do you, so do all of us-maybe-maybe so.
In the ends of my fingers the itch for another man's neck, I want to see him hanging, one of dusk's cartoons against the sunset.
This is the hate my father gave me, this was in my mother's milk, this is you and me and all of us in a world of hoodlums-maybe so.
.....

Carl Sandburg
Prophecy Of A Ten Ton Cheese

In presenting this delicate, dainty morsel to the imagination of the people, I believed that it could be realized. I viewed the machine that turned and raised the mamoth cheese, and saw the powerful machine invented by James Ireland at the West Oxford companies factory to turn the great and fine cheese he was making there. This company with but little assistance could produce a ten ton cheese.


Who hath prophetic vision sees
.....

James Mcintyre
The Sins Of Kalamazoo

THE SINS of Kalamazoo are neither scarlet nor crimson.

The sins of Kalamazoo are a convict gray, a dishwater drab.

.....

Carl Sandburg
Mediums

THEY shall arise in the States,
They shall report Nature, laws, physiology, and happiness;
They shall illustrate Democracy and the kosmos;
They shall be alimentive, amative, perceptive;
.....

Walt Whitman
For Selma

In places like
Selma, Alabama,
Kids say,
In places like
.....

Langston Hughes
Nebraska

April doesnt hurt here
Like it does in New England
The ground
Vast and brown
.....

Jack Kerouac
Visiting A Dead Man On A Summer Day

In flat America, in Chicago,
Graceland cemetery on the German North Side.
Forty feet of Corinthian candle
celebrate Pullman embedded
.....

Marge Piercy
Whirls

NEITHER rose leaves gathered in a jar-respectably in Boston-these-nor drops of Christ blood for a chalice-decently in Philadelphia or Baltimore.

Cinders-these-hissing in a marl and lime of Chicago-also these-the howling of northwest winds across North and South Dakota-or the spatter of winter spray on sea rocks of Kamchatka.

.....

Carl Sandburg
In His Hand

De Young (in Chicago the story is told)
'Took his life in his hand,' like a warrior bold,
And stood before Buckley-who thought him behind,
For Buckley, the man-eating monster is blind.
.....

Ambrose Bierce
Welcome To The Chicago Commercial Club

January 14, 1880

CHICAGO sounds rough to the maker of verse;
One comfort we have--Cincinnati sounds worse;
.....

Oliver Wendell Holmes
A Jack-at-all-views

So, Estee, you are still alive! I thought
That you had died and were a blessed ghost
I know at least your coffin once was bought
With Railroad money; and 'twas said by most
.....

Ambrose Bierce
The Beautiful Beeshareen Boy

Beautiful, black-eyed boy,
O lithe-limbed Beeshareen!
Face that finds no maid coy,
Page for some peerless queen:
.....

Mathilde Blind
Aspirants Three

DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

_QUICK_:
DE YOUNG _a Brother to Mushrooms_
.....

Ambrose Bierce
In Michael Robins—s Class Minus One

At the desk where the boy sat, he sees the Chicago River.
It raises its hand.
It asks if metaphor should burn.
He says fire is the basis for all forms of the mouth.
.....

Bob Hicok
Histrionics

-Albert Parsons
went to his death
singing Annie Laurie;
didn't another have
.....

Lola Ridge
When You Meet A Man From Your Own Home Town

Sing, O Muse, in treble clef,
A little song of the A.E.F.,
And pardon me, please, if I give vent
To something akin to sentiment.
.....

Franklin Pierce Adams
To John J. Knickerbocker, Jr.

Whereas, good friend, it doth appear
You do possess the notion
To his awhile away from here
To lands across the ocean;
.....

Eugene Field