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Sandburg, Carl: Chicago

Portre of Sandburg, Carl

Chicago (English)

     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.

Uploaded byP. T.
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