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 - 3,229 Points Sally Plumb Plumb (5/3/2016 4:42:00 AM)

    Marvellous! (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 5,032 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 - 6,044 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. Chicago Zen , A. K. Ramanujan
  5. 5. (poem) (Chicago) (The Were-Age) , Bill Knott
  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. 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. The Great Chicago Fire , Thomas Koron
  17. 17. Chicago Blues , Aldo Kraas
  18. 18. Chicago Fire , Kurt Kacich
  19. 19. Chicago - O'hare , Ima Ryma
  20. 20. 3-Year Old Among 13 Shot In Sanford Fla... , Luke Easter
  21. 21. Chicago Sestina , Brian Maloney
  22. 22. Chicago Dog , Ima Ryma
  23. 23. Chicago [1920's Slang] , R.K. Cowles
  24. 24. Southside Chicago Blues , George Hunter
  25. 25. Chicago , Morgan Michaels
  26. 26. The Chicago Poem , Jerome Rothenberg
  27. 27. Near North Side: Chicago , Donal Mahoney
  28. 28. On The Road To Chicago , Donal Mahoney
  29. 29. A Filipino Writes From Chicago , RIC S. BASTASA
  30. 30. South State Street: Chicago , Maxwell Bodenheim
  31. 31. New York To Chicago: An Email Alert , Donal Mahoney
  32. 32. Chicago Teachers Union To March On Washi.. , Luke Easter
  33. 33. Their Golden Wedding Anniversarry (For A.. , RIC S. BASTASA
  34. 34. Chicago Moon , RIC S. BASTASA
  35. 35. Hadiya Pendleton, Chicago Honor Student,.. , Luke Easter
  36. 36. Newberry Library, Chicago , Donal Mahoney
  37. 37. Chicago - Of Stinky Roots , Ima Ryma
  38. 38. Chicago - 'the Clock Mender' , Ima Ryma
  39. 39. Chicago Cubs.. The Last Are First , Saiom Shriver
  40. 40. Laquan Mcdonald Shot 16 Times By Chicago.. , Saiom Shriver
  41. 41. Chicago - Marina City Towers , Ima Ryma
  42. 42. Chicago - Barn Burner , Ima Ryma
  43. 43. Chicago - Skyscraper First , Ima Ryma
  44. 44. Chicago - The Stock Yards , Ima Ryma
  45. 45. Chicago - The World's Fair's End , Ima Ryma
  46. 46. Chicago - The Loop , Ima Ryma
  47. 47. Chicago - Playboy Mansion , Ima Ryma
  48. 48. Chicago - Wrigley Field , Ima Ryma
  49. 49. They Can Move To Harvard, California, Io.. , Bijay Kant Dubey
  50. 50. Sweat Girl From Irish Crazy North Chicag.. , Atef Ayadi
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