Vachel Lindsay

(November 10, 1879 – December 5, 1931 / Springfield, Illinois)

The Voice Of The Man Impatient With Visions And Utopias


We find your soft Utopias as white
As new-cut bread, and dull as life in cells,
O, scribes who dare forget how wild we are
How human breasts adore alarum bells.
You house us in a hive of prigs and saints
Communal, frugal, clean and chaste by law.
I’d rather brood in bloody Elsinore
Or be Lear’s fool, straw-crowned amid the straw.
Promise us all our share in Agincourt
Say that our clerks shall venture scorns and death,
That future ant-hills will not be too good
For Henry Fifth, or Hotspur, or Macbeth.
Promise that through to-morrow’s spirit-war
Man’s deathless soul will hack and hew its way,
Each flaunting Caesar climbing to his fate
Scorning the utmost steps of yesterday.
Never a shallow jester any more!
Let not Jack Falstaff spill the ale in vain.
Let Touchstone set the fashions for the wise
And Ariel wreak his fancies through the rain.

Submitted: Saturday, April 10, 2010

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