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 - 3,228 Points Sally Plumb Plumb (5/3/2016 4:42:00 AM)

    Marvellous! (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 4,925 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 - 5,968 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 , John Greenleaf Whittier
  6. 6. Chicago Zen , A. K. Ramanujan
  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. The Great Chicago Fire , Julia Ann Moore
  13. 13. Poem (Chicago) , Bill Knott
  14. 14. Chicago Samba , Aldo Kraas
  15. 15. Chicago Blues , Aldo Kraas
  16. 16. 3-Year Old Among 13 Shot In Sanford Fla... , Luke Easter
  17. 17. Chicago - O'hare , Ima Ryma
  18. 18. Six Poems For Poetry Chicago , Jack Spicer
  19. 19. Chicago Sestina , Brian Maloney
  20. 20. Chicago Dog , Ima Ryma
  21. 21. The Great Chicago Fire , Thomas Koron
  22. 22. Chicago [1920's Slang] , R.K. Cowles
  23. 23. Chicago , Morgan Michaels
  24. 24. Southside Chicago Blues , George Hunter
  25. 25. The Chicago Poem , Jerome Rothenberg
  26. 26. On The Road To Chicago , Donal Mahoney
  27. 27. A Filipino Writes From Chicago , RIC S. BASTASA
  28. 28. Near North Side: Chicago , Donal Mahoney
  29. 29. South State Street: Chicago , Maxwell Bodenheim
  30. 30. Chicago Fire , Kurt Kacich
  31. 31. My Friend From Chicago Says Bless You (R.. , RIC S. BASTASA
  32. 32. My Friend From Chicago Says Bless You , RIC S. BASTASA
  33. 33. New York To Chicago: An Email Alert , Donal Mahoney
  34. 34. Their Golden Wedding Anniversarry (For A.. , RIC S. BASTASA
  35. 35. Notes From Chicago... An Open Book. , RIC S. BASTASA
  36. 36. Sweat Girl From Irish Crazy North Chicag.. , Atef Ayadi
  37. 37. Chicago - Wrigley Field , Ima Ryma
  38. 38. Chicago - Playboy Mansion , Ima Ryma
  39. 39. Chicago - The Loop , Ima Ryma
  40. 40. Chicago - The World's Fair's End , Ima Ryma
  41. 41. Chicago - The Stock Yards , Ima Ryma
  42. 42. Chicago - Skyscraper First , Ima Ryma
  43. 43. Chicago - Barn Burner , Ima Ryma
  44. 44. Chicago Cubs.. The Last Are First , Saiom Shriver
  45. 45. Chicago - 'the Clock Mender' , Ima Ryma
  46. 46. Chicago - Of Stinky Roots , Ima Ryma
  47. 47. Newberry Library, Chicago , Donal Mahoney
  48. 48. To Mawe In Chicago This Winter , RIC S. BASTASA
  49. 49. Dear Mama, A Poem From A Son In Chicago , RIC S. BASTASA
  50. 50. Chicago , SRIRANJI ARATISANKAR
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