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

  • Rookie - 0 Points Cathryn Hatle (4/2/2017 10:10:00 AM)

    Sandburg, rap hero. Here is a submerged tributary to hip hop culture. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Silver Star - 3,463 Points Sally Plumb Plumb (5/3/2016 4:42:00 AM)

    Marvellous! (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 5,311 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

Read all 11 comments »

Poems About Chicago

  1. 1. Chicago , Carl Sandburg
  2. 2. The Great Chicago Fire , Julia Ann Moore
  3. 3. Chicago Zen , A. K. Ramanujan
  4. 4. Chicago Poet , Carl Sandburg
  5. 5. Chicago , John Greenleaf Whittier
  6. 6. Chicago Weather , Eugene Field
  7. 7. Welcome To The Chicago Commercial Club , Oliver Wendell Holmes
  8. 8. Poem (Chicago) , Bill Knott
  9. 9. 3-Year Old Among 13 Shot In Sanford Fla... , Luke Easter
  10. 10. Hymn For The Fair At Chicago , Oliver Wendell Holmes
  11. 11. Chicago Dog , Ima Ryma
  12. 12. Chicago , Morgan Michaels
  13. 13. Southside Chicago Blues , George Hunter
  14. 14. Chicago Samba , Aldo Kraas
  15. 15. (poem) (Chicago) (The Were-Age) , Bill Knott
  16. 16. A Garden In Chicago , Karl Shapiro
  17. 17. The Chicago Poem , Jerome Rothenberg
  18. 18. A Filipino Writes From Chicago , RIC S. BASTASA
  19. 19. Near North Side: Chicago , Donal Mahoney
  20. 20. On The Road To Chicago , Donal Mahoney
  21. 21. South State Street: Chicago , Maxwell Bodenheim
  22. 22. The Great Chicago Fire , Thomas Koron
  23. 23. Chicago Fire , Kurt Kacich
  24. 24. Chicago [1920's Slang] , R.K. Cowles
  25. 25. Their Golden Wedding Anniversarry (For A.. , RIC S. BASTASA
  26. 26. Chicago Moon , RIC S. BASTASA
  27. 27. Hadiya Pendleton, Chicago Honor Student,.. , Luke Easter
  28. 28. New York To Chicago: An Email Alert , Donal Mahoney
  29. 29. Chicago Teachers Union To March On Washi.. , Luke Easter
  30. 30. Newberry Library, Chicago , Donal Mahoney
  31. 31. Chicago - Of Stinky Roots , Ima Ryma
  32. 32. Chicago - 'the Clock Mender' , Ima Ryma
  33. 33. Chicago Cubs.. The Last Are First , Saiom Shriver
  34. 34. Chicago - Barn Burner , Ima Ryma
  35. 35. Chicago - Skyscraper First , Ima Ryma
  36. 36. Chicago - The Stock Yards , Ima Ryma
  37. 37. Chicago - The World's Fair's End , Ima Ryma
  38. 38. Chicago - The Loop , Ima Ryma
  39. 39. Chicago - Playboy Mansion , Ima Ryma
  40. 40. Chicago - Wrigley Field , Ima Ryma
  41. 41. Chicago - O'hare , Ima Ryma
  42. 42. Laquan Mcdonald Shot 16 Times By Chicago.. , Saiom Shriver
  43. 43. Chicago - Marina City Towers , Ima Ryma
  44. 44. They Can Move To Harvard, California, Io.. , Bijay Kant Dubey
  45. 45. Chicago , SRIRANJI ARATISANKAR
  46. 46. My Father Laughing in the Chicago Theater , David Wagoner
  47. 47. Sweat Girl From Irish Crazy North Chicag.. , Atef Ayadi
  48. 48. To A Friend In Chicago , RIC S. BASTASA
  49. 49. Chicago At The Rush Hour , Donal Mahoney
  50. 50. Chicago Pride - Lincoln Park Zoo , Ima Ryma
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