CHICAGO 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 cun–    ning.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.
Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago” published by Poetry (1914) and later as a part of Chicago Poems (1916)
For more, go to the American Masters website on PBS.ORG. 

CHICAGO 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 cun–
    ning.
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.

Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago” published by Poetry (1914) and later as a part of Chicago Poems (1916)


For more, go to the American Masters website on PBS.ORG

  1. wickdpleasures reblogged this from americanguide
  2. sundownermusic reblogged this from pbsamericanmasters
  3. lapsesofjudgment reblogged this from pbsamericanmasters and added:
    This is the city I want to wake up in. College apps here we go!
  4. atsutaro reblogged this from pbsamericanmasters
  5. radraunel reblogged this from uchicagoadmissions
  6. university-bound reblogged this from uchicagoadmissions and added:
    We read this in AmStud!
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  9. serifluous reblogged this from uchicagoadmissions and added:
    FUCKIMISSYOU. TOMORROW, dear sweet City! Tomorrow.
  10. bvckyybarness reblogged this from uchicagoadmissions and added:
    We had a really nice discussion on this poem last year in AmStud.
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    We
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  19. americanguide reblogged this from pbsamericanmasters and added:
    Chicago by way of pbsamericanmasters.
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