top of page

Chicago by Carl Sandburg


  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,





              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 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.


16 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page