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League of Inveterate Poets

The out-of-context contextuality of a foolish sage

Two Ex-Chicagoans and Sandurg’s Chicago





By on April 7, 2009

chicagoIn honor of National Poetry Month my friend author Mindy Withrow is posting a poem a day. Today it’s Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago.” Sandburg’s poem acknowledges that Chicago is indeed a wicked, crooked, brutal place; and yet, he slugs back at anyone who would make that the whole picture of his city. Chicago, he says, “like a young man laughs…as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle.”

All cities are like that to some extent: at the same time harsh and cruel yet containing a richness of life not found in the ‘burbs or country. Sandburg just thinks Chicago has all that to an unparalleled degree. Mindy and her husband Brandon, who once lived in Chicago, seem to agree, as you’ll read in their comments to her post.

The Withrow’s latest book: Rescue and Redeem: Volume 5 Chronicles of the Modern Church (History Lives)

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Comments

  • Just posted: Two Ex-Chicagoans and Sandurg’s Chicago http://tinyurl.com/cfgrle
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • Just posted: Two Ex-Chicagoans and Sandurg’s Chicago http://tinyurl.com/cfgrle

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • Thanks for linking, Mark. There are lots of great cities, but there's just something about Chi-town… It really is the “City of the Big Shoulders,” as Sandburg says, and I can't help but think of its location and picture it bearing up the country on those shoulders like a skyscraper-tall Atlas!

    There don't seem to be a lot of Sandburg fans these days, though, to judge from the dearth of comments on that post. Do they not teach him in Lit classes anymore?

  • Maybe if we told people that Sandburg's poem was a major inspiration for Sufjan Stevens's Illinoise album….

  • Thanks for linking, Mark. There are lots of great cities, but there's just something about Chi-town… It really is the “City of the Big Shoulders,” as Sandburg says, and I can't help but think of its location and picture it bearing up the country on those shoulders like a skyscraper-tall Atlas!

    There don't seem to be a lot of Sandburg fans these days, though, to judge from the dearth of comments on that post. Do they not teach him in Lit classes anymore?

  • Maybe if we told people that Sandburg's poem was a major inspiration for Sufjan Stevens's Illinoise album….

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