Vachel Lindsay

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

Vachel Lindsay
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Nicholas Vachel Lindsay was born on November 10, 1879 in Springfield, Illinois. The second of six children and the only son of Dr. Vachel Thomas Lindsay and Esther Catharine Frazee Lindsay. Vachel did not attend school until he was eight. He was taught at home by his mother, who had been a teacher and artist before her marriage. Grimm’s Fairy Tales is said to have been his primer. He graduated from Stuart School in 1893, having skipped the seventh grade and winning several prizes for his writing compositions.

During his youth, Vachel was encouraged to follow in his father’s footsteps, therefore as a dutiful son, he enrolled at Hiram College, as a premedical student in 1897. Three... more »

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  • Rookie Peter Harter (6/10/2007 4:50:00 PM)

    if anyone knows where to get CD recordings of Vachel Lindsay reading email me:

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Best Poem of Vachel Lindsay

The Congo: A Study Of The Negro Race


Fat black bucks in a wine-barrel room,
Barrel-house kings, with feet unstable,
Sagged and reeled and pounded on the table,
A deep rolling bass.
Pounded on the table,
Beat an empty barrel with the handle of a broom,
Hard as they were able,
Boom, boom, BOOM,
With a silk umbrella and the handle of a broom,
Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, BOOM.
THEN I had religion, THEN I had a vision.
I could not turn from their revel in derision.
More deliberate. Solemnly ...

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