Chicago

C
The Painted Lady by Margaret Danner
Margaret Danner
The Painted Lady is a small African
Butterfly gayly toned deep tan and peach
That seems as tremulous and delicately sheer

As the objects I treasure, yet this cosmopolitan
Can cross the sea at the icy time of the year
In the trail of the big boats, to France.

Mischance is as wide and grey as the lake here
In Chicago. Is there strength enough in my
Read Poem
0
39
Rating:

The Small Bells of Benin by Margaret Danner
Margaret Danner
In a Chicago museum, these small bells of Benin
are bringing their charm to a foreign scene, without ringing.

The concave cylindrical draping of some
is as prim as the poise of a Quaker maid,
while the rare quadrangular forms of the rest,
with their molded latticed designs, suggest
the iron fences, displayed in New Orleans, and everywhere, now.

And who can escape the quaint, spellbound, gargoyle-like bronze faces
Read Poem
0
39
Rating:

Morning Song and Evening Walk by Sonia Sanchez
Sonia Sanchez
1.

Tonite in need of you
and God
I move imperfect
through this ancient city.

Quiet. No one hears
No one feels the tears
of multitudes.
Read Poem
0
48
Rating:

Faces at the First Farmworkers’ Constitutional Convention by José Montoya
José Montoya
Just the other day
In Fresno
In a giant arena
Architectured
To reject the very poor
Cesar Chavez brought
The very poor
Together
Read Poem
0
46
Rating:

Chicago Poem by Lew Welch
Lew Welch
I lived here nearly 5 years before I could
meet the middle western day with anything approaching
Dignity. It’s a place that lets you
understand why the Bible is the way it is:
Proud people cannot live here.

The land’s too flat. Ugly sullen and big it
pounds men down past humbleness. They
Stoop at 35 possibly cringing from the heavy and
Read Poem
0
32
Rating:

A Poem for Painters by John Wieners
John Wieners
Our age bereft of nobility
How can our faces show it?
I look for love.
My lips stand out
dry and cracked with want
of it.
Oh it is well.
My poem shall show the need for it.
Read Poem
0
50
Rating:

In Memory of Bryan Lathrop by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
Who bequeathed to Chicago a School of Music. So in Pieria, from the wedded bliss
Of Time and Memory, the Muses came
To be the means of rich oblivion,
And rest from cares. And when the Thunderer
Read Poem
0
45
Rating:

little report of the day by Jack Collom
Jack Collom
9:13 p.m., Lucky Bock in hand,
I inscribe: walked the lovely
33 blocks to school today, streets clear and
thick melting snow all around.
taught my 4 hours of poetry; the afternoon
class was hard; kid named Schweikert
kept on fucking up. took typed-up
poems of yesterday to Platt and put up
Read Poem
0
38
Rating:

For My People by Margaret Walker
Margaret Walker
For my people everywhere singing their slave songs
repeatedly: their dirges and their ditties and their blues
and jubilees, praying their prayers nightly to an
unknown god, bending their knees humbly to an
unseen power;

For my people lending their strength to the years, to the
gone years and the now years and the maybe years,
washing ironing cooking scrubbing sewing mending
Read Poem
0
53
Rating:

The Windy City sections 1 and 6 by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
1

The lean hands of wagon men
put out pointing fingers here,
picked this crossway, put it on a map,
set up their sawbucks, fixed their shotguns,
found a hitching place for the pony express,
made a hitching place for the iron horse,
the one-eyed horse with the fire-spit head,
Read Poem
0
48
Rating:

Autobiography: New York by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
I

It is not to be bought for a penny
in the candy store, nor picked
from the bushes in the park. It may be found, perhaps,
in the ashes on the distant lots,
among the rusting cans and Jimpson weeds.
If you wish to eat fish freely,
cucumbers and melons,
Read Poem
0
56
Rating:

Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey by Hayden Carruth
Hayden Carruth
Scrambled eggs and whiskey
in the false-dawn light. Chicago,
a sweet town, bleak, God knows,
but sweet. Sometimes. And
weren’t we fine tonight?
When Hank set up that limping
treble roll behind me
my horn just growled and I
Read Poem
0
58
Rating:

America by Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg
America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.
America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17, 1956.
I can’t stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb.
I don’t feel good don’t bother me.
I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
Read Poem
0
41
Rating:

Chicago’s Congo by Frank Marshall Davis
Frank Marshall Davis
(Sonata for an Orchestra) Chicago is an overgrown woman
wearing her skyscrapers
Read Poem
0
37
Rating:

Counselors by Robert Fitzgerald
Robert Fitzgerald
Whom should I consult? Philosophers
Are happy in their homes and seminars.
See this one with the mischievous bright childlike
Gaze going out through walls and air,
A tangent to the bent rays of the star.
Hear the chalk splutter, hear the groping voice:
Conceive the demiurge in his perpetual
Strife with the chaos of the universe,
Read Poem
0
40
Rating:

Howl by Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg
For Carl Solomon I

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
Read Poem
0
37
Rating:

Replica by Marvin Bell
Marvin Bell
The fake Parthenon in Nashville, Stonehenge reduced by a quarter
near Maryhill on the Columbia, the little Statue of Liberty
taken from the lawn of the high school and not recovered
for months,
Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers in the tile maker’s shape of a ship
to sail home in, the house in the shape of a ship near Milwaukee
where once before the river below rose up to swallow the bank,
World’s Fairs where one can enter the cell of a human body
Read Poem
0
39
Rating:

Visiting a dead man on a summer day by Marge Piercy
Marge Piercy
In flat America, in Chicago,
Graceland cemetery on the German North Side.
Forty feet of Corinthian candle
celebrate Pullman embedded
lonely raisin in a cake of concrete.
The Potter Palmers float
in an island parthenon.
Barons of hogfat, railroads and wheat
Read Poem
0
41
Rating:

Afterimages by Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde

I
However the image enters
its force remains within
my eyes
rockstrewn caves where dragonfish evolve
wild for life, relentless and acquisitive
learning to survive
Read Poem
0
36
Rating:

The Bad Old Days by Kenneth Rexroth
Kenneth Rexroth
The summer of nineteen eighteen
I read The Jungle and The
Research Magnificent. That fall
My father died and my aunt
Took me to Chicago to live.
The first thing I did was to take
A streetcar to the stockyards.
In the winter afternoon,
Read Poem
0
42
Rating:

Bat Cave by Eleanor Wilner
Eleanor Wilner
The cave looked much like any other
from a little distance but
as we approached, came almost
to its mouth, we saw its walls within
that slanted up into a dome
were beating like a wild black lung—
it was plastered and hung with
the pulsing bodies of bats, the organ
Read Poem
0
37
Rating:

Brass Spittoons by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
Clean the spittoons, boy.
Detroit,
Chicago,
Atlantic City,
Palm Beach.
Clean the spittoons.
The steam in hotel kitchens,
And the smoke in hotel lobbies,
Read Poem
0
45
Rating:

Carl Hamblin by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
The press of the Spoon River Clarion was wrecked,
And I was tarred and feathered,
For publishing this on the day the Anarchists were hanged in Chicago:
"I saw a beautiful woman with bandaged eyes
Standing on the steps of a marble temple.
Great multitudes passed in front of her,
Lifting their faces to her imploringly.
In her left hand she held a sword.
She was brandishing the sword,
Sometimes striking a child, again a laborer,
Again a slinking woman, again a lunatic.
In her right hand she held a scale;
Into the scale pieces of gold were tossed
By those who dodged the strokes of the sword.
A man in a black gown read from a manuscript:
Read Poem
0
38
Rating:

Dora Williams by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
When Reuben Pantier ran away and threw me
I went to Springfield. There I met a lush,
Whose father just deceased left him a fortune.
He married me when drunk. My life was wretched.
A year passed and one day they found him dead.
That made me rich. I moved on to Chicago.
After a time met Tyler Rountree, villain.
I moved on to New York. A gray-haired magnate
Went mad about me i so another fortune.
He died one night right in my arms, you know.
(I saw his purple face for years thereafter.)
There was almost a scandal. I moved on,
This time to Paris. I was now a woman,
Insidious, subtle, versed in the world and rich.
My sweet apartment near the Champs Élysées
Read Poem
0
36
Rating:

Lambert Hutchins by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
I have two monuments besides this granite obelisk:
One, the house I built on the hill,
With its spires, bay windows, and roof of slate;
The other, the lake-front in Chicago,
Where the railroad keeps a switching yard,
With whistling engines and crunching wheels,
And smoke and soot thrown over the city,
And the crash of cars along the boulevard, i
A blot like a hog-pen on the harbor
Of a great metropolis, foul as a sty.
I helped to give this heritage
To generations yet unborn, with my vote
In the House of Representatives,
And the lure of the thing was to be at rest
From the never-ending fright of need,
Read Poem
0
45
Rating:

The Minneapolis Poem by James Wright
James Wright
to John Logan 1
I wonder how many old men last winter
Read Poem
0
34
Rating:

Saturday Night by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
Music is most sovereign because more than anything
else, rhythm and harmony find their way to the inmost
soul and take strongest hold upon it, bringing with
them and imparting grace.
—Plato, The Republic

The cranes are flying ...
—Chekhov
Read Poem
0
37
Rating:

Youth by James Wright
James Wright
Strange bird,
His song remains secret.
He worked too hard to read books.
He never heard how Sherwood Anderson
Got out of it, and fled to Chicago, furious to free himself
From his hatred of factories.
My father toiled fifty years
At Hazel-Atlas Glass,
Read Poem
0
32
Rating: