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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

  • Rookie Elizabeth (8/19/2018 1:39:00 AM)

    Dont blame a city cos they kill their own . Gangsters then and gang members now. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie Elizabeth (8/19/2018 1:36:00 AM)

    Marissa, no stories hidden in this poem It is honestly and brutally truthfull, like chicago. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Marissa (8/17/2018 10:56:00 PM)

    i have been doing a class and i needed to review this poem at first I thought it was really boring and now I realize that to understand this poem is to really think about all of the stories that are hidden in the poem. (Report) Reply

Read all 21 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. Tough Streets Of Chicago , rico avila
  11. 11. Chicago Streets , Delilah Miller
  12. 12. Poem (Chicago) , Bill Knott
  13. 13. Chicago Samba , Aldo Kraas
  14. 14. The Great Chicago Fire , Julia Ann Moore
  15. 15. Chicago Blues , Aldo Kraas
  16. 16. Chicago - O'hare , Ima Ryma
  17. 17. 3-Year Old Among 13 Shot In Sanford Fla... , Luke Easter
  18. 18. Six Poems For Poetry Chicago , Jack Spicer
  19. 19. Chicago Sestina , Brian Maloney
  20. 20. Chicago Dog , Ima Ryma
  21. 21. Chicago Was Once , Michael Hopkins
  22. 22. Chicago , Morgan Michaels
  23. 23. Southside Chicago Blues , George Hunter
  24. 24. The Chicago Poem , Jerome Rothenberg
  25. 25. Near North Side: Chicago , Donal Mahoney
  26. 26. On The Road To Chicago , Donal Mahoney
  27. 27. A Filipino Writes From Chicago , RIC BASTASA
  28. 28. South State Street: Chicago , Maxwell Bodenheim
  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 BASTASA
  33. 33. My Friend From Chicago Says Bless You , RIC BASTASA
  34. 34. My Friend From Chicago Says Bless You (R.. , RIC BASTASA
  35. 35. To Mawe In Chicago This Winter , RIC 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 BASTASA
  39. 39. To A Friend Somewhere In Chicago , RIC BASTASA
  40. 40. Chicago Botanic Gardens , Michael Pruchnicki
  41. 41. Chicago In February , Michael Pruchnicki
  42. 42. Dublin & Chicago , Michael Pruchnicki
  43. 43. Dear Mama, A Poem From A Son In Chicago , RIC BASTASA
  44. 44. Travel Haiku - Millennium Park (Chicago) , john tiong chunghoo
  45. 45. A Filipino Fed Up In Chicago , RIC BASTASA
  46. 46. Somewhere In Chicago , RIC BASTASA
  47. 47. Chicago Art Institute , Michael Pruchnicki
  48. 48. New York To Chicago: An Email Alert , Donal Mahoney
  49. 49. Their Golden Wedding Anniversarry (For A.. , RIC BASTASA
  50. 50. Chicago Moon , RIC BASTASA
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