Chicago Poems - Poems For Chicago

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Chicago - Poem by Carl Sandburg

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

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
faces of women and children I have seen the marks
of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
little soft cities;

Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning
as a savage pitted against the wilderness,

Bareheaded,
Shoveling,
Wrecking,
Planning,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,

Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with
white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young
man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has
never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse,
and under his ribs the heart of the people,

Laughing!

Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of
Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog
Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with
Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.


Comments about Chicago by Carl Sandburg

  • Silver Star - 3,053 Points Sally Plumb Plumb (5/3/2016 4:42:00 AM)

    Marvellous! (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 4,832 Points Curtis Johnson (10/17/2015 10:11:00 PM)

    I sense that Sandburg felt compelled to paint the picture of at least two cities in one. I too once lived there, loved there, laughed there, and learned there before I left there. I am grateful for having given of my life too it. I loved Chicago, and I also feared it, but I also became a man in Chicago. City of contrast, is it not? (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 5,640 Points Soumita Sarkar (9/6/2015 10:05:00 AM)

    the roads..the sand..the trees..the guilds....the arms..the minds...all come alive here in this city that is no ordinary....alike many on earth...Thanks. (Report) Reply

Read all 10 comments »

Poems About Chicago

  1. 1. Chicago , Carl Sandburg
  2. 2. Chicago Poet , Carl Sandburg
  3. 3. A Garden In Chicago , Karl Shapiro
  4. 4. (poem) (Chicago) (The Were-Age) , Bill Knott
  5. 5. Chicago Zen , A. K. Ramanujan
  6. 6. Chicago , John Greenleaf Whittier
  7. 7. Chicago Weather , Eugene Field
  8. 8. Welcome To The Chicago Commercial Club , Oliver Wendell Holmes
  9. 9. Hymn For The Fair At Chicago , Oliver Wendell Holmes
  10. 10. Chicago Streets , Delilah Miller
  11. 11. Tough Streets Of Chicago , rico avila
  12. 12. The Great Chicago Fire , Julia Ann Moore
  13. 13. Poem (Chicago) , Bill Knott
  14. 14. Chicago Samba , Aldo Kraas
  15. 15. Six Poems For Poetry Chicago , Jack Spicer
  16. 16. Chicago Blues , Aldo Kraas
  17. 17. The Chicago Poem , Jerome Rothenberg
  18. 18. 3-Year Old Among 13 Shot In Sanford Fla... , Luke Easter
  19. 19. Chicago - O'hare , Ima Ryma
  20. 20. Chicago Sestina , Brian Maloney
  21. 21. Chicago Dog , Ima Ryma
  22. 22. Chicago , Morgan Michaels
  23. 23. Southside Chicago Blues , George Hunter
  24. 24. Near North Side: Chicago , Donal Mahoney
  25. 25. On The Road To Chicago , Donal Mahoney
  26. 26. A Filipino Writes From Chicago , RIC S. BASTASA
  27. 27. South State Street: Chicago , Maxwell Bodenheim
  28. 28. The Great Chicago Fire , Thomas Koron
  29. 29. Chicago Fire , Kurt Kacich
  30. 30. Chicago [1920's Slang] , R.K. Cowles
  31. 31. Chick-Fil-A Vs. Chicago , Luke Easter
  32. 32. Notes From Chicago... An Open Book. , RIC S. BASTASA
  33. 33. My Friend From Chicago Says Bless You , RIC S. BASTASA
  34. 34. My Friend From Chicago Says Bless You (R.. , RIC S. BASTASA
  35. 35. To Mawe In Chicago This Winter , RIC S. BASTASA
  36. 36. Travel Haiku - Chicago, My Other Paris , john tiong chunghoo
  37. 37. ##38 (Vivekananda) Arrival At Chicago , Rajaram Ramachandran
  38. 38. A Friend In Chicago Is In Relationship , RIC S. BASTASA
  39. 39. Chicago. , Michael Gale
  40. 40. To A Friend Somewhere In Chicago , RIC S. BASTASA
  41. 41. Chicago Botanic Gardens , Michael Pruchnicki
  42. 42. Chicago In February , Michael Pruchnicki
  43. 43. Dublin & Chicago , Michael Pruchnicki
  44. 44. Dear Mama, A Poem From A Son In Chicago , RIC S. BASTASA
  45. 45. Travel Haiku - Millennium Park (Chicago) , john tiong chunghoo
  46. 46. A Filipino Fed Up In Chicago , RIC S. BASTASA
  47. 47. Somewhere In Chicago , RIC S. BASTASA
  48. 48. Chicago Art Institute , Michael Pruchnicki
  49. 49. Teenage Days Of One Helluva Chicago Summ.. , Michael Gale
  50. 50. New York To Chicago: An Email Alert , Donal Mahoney
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