Chicago Poems - Poems For Chicago

Poems about chicago. You can read the best chicago poems. Browse through all chicago poems.


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  • 337.
    Captive of the White City, The *

    Flower of the foam of the waves
    Of the beautiful inland sea, -
    White as the foam that laves
    The ships of the Sea-Kings past, -
    Marvel of human hands,
    Wonderful, mystical, vast,
    The great White City stands;
    And the banners of all the lands
    Are free on the western breeze,
    Free as the West is free.

    And the throngs go up and down
    In the streets of the wonderful town
    In brotherly love and grace, -
    Children of every zone
    The light of the sun has known:
    And there in the Midway Place,
    In the House of the Unhewn Trees,
    There in the surging crowd,
    Silent, and stern, and proud,
    Sits Rain-in-the-Face!

    Why is the captive here?
    Is the hour of the Lord so near
    When slayer and slain shall meet
    In the place of the Judgment seat
    For the word of the last decree?
    Ah, what is the word to be?
    For the beautiful City stands
    On the Red Man’s wrested lands, **
    The home of the fated race;
    And the ghostly shadow falls
    Over the trophied walls ***
    Of the House of the Unhewn Tree,
    In the pleasant Midway Place.
    There is blood on the broken door,
    Ther is blood on the broken floor,
    Blood on your bronzed hands,
    O Rain-in-the-Face.
    Shut from the sunlit air,
    Like a sun-god overthrown,
    The soldier, Custer, lies.
    Dust is the sun-kissed hair,
    Dust are the dauntless eyes,
    Dust and name alone; -
    While the wife holds watch with grief
    For the never-returning chief.
    What if she walked to-day
    In the City’s pleasant way,
    The beautiful Midway Place,
    And there to her sudden gaze,
    Dimmed with her widow’s tears,
    After the terrible years,
    Stood Rain-in-the-Face!

    Quench with a dropp of dew
    From the morning’s cloudless blue
    The prairies’ burning plains-
    The seas of seething flame;
    Turn from its awful path
    The tempest, in its wrath;
    Lure from his jungle-lair
    The tiger, crouching there
    For the leap on his sighted prey:
    Then seek as well to tame
    The hate in the Red Man’s veins,
    His tiger-thirst to cool,
    In the hour of the evil day
    When his foe before him stands!

    From the wrongs of the White Man’s rule
    Blood only may wash the trace.
    Alas, for the death-heaped slain!
    Alas for your blood-stained hands,
    O Rain-in-the-Face!

    And the throngs go up, go down,
    In the streets of the wonderful town;
    And jests of the merry tongue,
    And the dance, and the glad songs sung,
    Ring through the sunlit space.
    And there, in the wild, free breeze,
    In the House of the Unhewn Trees,
    In the beautiful Midway Place,
    The captive sits apart,
    Silent, and makes no sign.
    But what is the word in your heart,
    O man of a dying race?
    What tale on your lips for mine,
    O Rain-in-the-Face?


    * “The White City” was the name given to the Columbian Exposition in Chicago,1893. The man who killed General Custer on the Little Bighorn was displayed in the Midway Plaisance of the fair. He sat, under guard, in a log cabin brought from Montana and reportedly owned by Sitting Bull, the same cabin in which that chief and his son had been killed.
    ** The Indians claim that the Land upon which Chicago is built was never fully paid for.
    *** ”The walls were hung with relics of the fight” (Coolbrith’s note) read more »

  • 338.
    Boys of Summer

    Are housed in summer’s delight.
    Parks tower toward the sky
    And stretch out for city blocks;
    Restaurants, vendors spinning like tops. read more »

  • 339.
    Landscape With Big Car

    With such a big car we're bound to come through
    dead or alive
    in the back of the neck a music
    that never stops read more »

  • 340.
    Orpheus Hops a Freight

    Ninety miles- it takes from dawn to dusk,
    but I am in no hurry. Dangling my feet
    over the boxcar's edge, sprawled in grit
    and grime, my father, that great solar disk, read more »

  • 341.
    On the Sparrow: No Blame

    When I worked in the steel mill
    the ceiling crane dropped a bolt read more »

  • 342.
    Swinging Doors

    nobody ever walked
    through those swinging doors
    not even billy the kid
    in his sunday best read more »

  • 343.
    Cuddle/Coddle n' Coolie

    How quaint, Molly-Coddle
    never comes in here,
    she's perceived things
    that aren't. read more »

  • 344.
    'Talking Trash on South Beach'

    "Talking Trash on South Beach"


    When I first mentioned read more »

  • 345.
    8pm, Sandymount Beach

    Sometimes an author's
    while-to-get-a-go-on is more of a
    while than a reader can bear, more than a bearable
    while; read more »

  • 346.
    Space Incarnation

    Many would take it
    as the midway station to heaven
    nineteen hundred miles up
    can heaven be far away? read more »

  • 347.
    My Feelings of the Wrong and Innocent Part 1

    I cry on a dark night.
    In my room looking out the window
    Nothing in sight,
    Only my reflection out the window read more »

  • 348.
    FOR PABLO PICASSO

    I never can plumb the depths of your art
    Nor fathom the gifts of your fallen heart;
    I revere the skillful slither of you apt brush
    And here pay homage to your pencil's dash. read more »

New Chicago Poems

  1. The Chicago Poem, Jerome Rothenberg
  2. Evening Song, Sherwood Anderson
  3. My Kind of Town, Ima Ryma
  4. Jackie Robinson West, Ima Ryma
  5. Crackling Again, Donal Mahoney
  6. People Who Live Above Stores, Donal Mahoney
  7. Lake Michigan, Kate Harrington
  8. To Conjure Up, Kevin Kiely
  9. Those Good Tomatoes, Donal Mahoney
  10. Caseworker Determining Eligibility, Donal Mahoney
  11. Caseworker: Yams and Plantain, Donal Mahoney
  12. The Great Chicago Fire, Thomas Koron
  13. Cats At Their Bowls Lapping, Donal Mahoney
  14. Shall I Compare She to A Chicago Winter, Lore Me34
  15. Gentleman, Jaipal Singh
  16. Chicago, Morgan Michaels
  17. Lemon Underwear, Donal Mahoney
  18. Cub and Flub, Ima Ryma
  19. Bending, Grabbing, Sorting, Donal Mahoney
  20. Winter on Astor Street, Donal Mahoney
  21. Chicago Dog, Ima Ryma
  22. An Irish Enclave,1956, Donal Mahoney
  23. Harvesting Pumpkins, Donal Mahoney
  24. 3-year old among 13 shot in Sanford Fla..., Luke Easter
  25. Elegy, oskar hansen
  26. Scene from Yom Kippur 1972, Donal Mahoney
  27. Savannah Belle, Donal Mahoney
  28. Gunners Be Gone, Ima Ryma
  29. Chicago, Marissa Liebowitz
  30. Trumpeter Swans - Lincoln Park Zoo, Ima Ryma
  31. Lookıng For A Girl Across The United Sta.., Nicolas GRENIER
  32. Armadillo Home, Donal Mahoney
  33. Chicago, everette johnson
  34. Bag Lady, Donal Mahoney
  35. Coal Bins, Donal Mahoney
  36. Letter to Annie Far Away, Donal Mahoney
  37. Caseworker's Tune, Donal Mahoney
  38. Satin and Grace, Donal Mahoney
  39. On the Road to Chicago, Donal Mahoney
  40. Bells from the Cathedral, Donal Mahoney
  41. Southside Chicago Blues, George Hunter
  42. Chicago [1920's slang], R.K. Cowles
  43. Chicago, Charlotte Lidia
  44. 'Lemon Underwear', Donal Mahoney
  45. Providential Hope In The Windy City, Albrando Lucino
  46. WINGS OF A DOVE, Aldo Kraas
  47. GOING DOWN, Aldo Kraas
  48. Chicago through my eyes, tationa triplett
  49. CHICAGO SAMBA, Aldo Kraas
  50. Yesterday, Nkwachukwu Ogbuagu
  51. Chicago, Cadence Hanshew
  52. Charley Plays A Tune (V5), Michael Lee Johnson
  53. PURPLE OPULENCE, RIC S. BASTASA
  54. Chicago Fire, Kurt Kacich
  55. Changing Of The Seasons, Shel Silverstein
  56. For Selma, Langston Hughes
  57. Brass Spittoons, Langston Hughes
  58. a friend in chicago is in relationship, RIC S. BASTASA
  59. CHICAGO ART INSTITUTE, Michael Pruchnicki
  60. ''The South Side of Chicago'' by David H.., David Hart
  61. Travel Haiku - Chicago, my other Paris, john tiong chunghoo
  62. Chicago, Lea Wilson
  63. Tough Streets Of Chicago, rico avila
  64. 'Shoe Shine Boy', Linda Winchell
  65. Radio Station: Chico, The Latest News, Atef Ayadi
  66. Radio Station: Chico, Irish Tuesday, Atef Ayadi
  67. & Living Like a Gypsy, Mamta Agarwal
  68. my auntie zousy, RIC S. BASTASA
  69. Candlelight, Gus Oloroso
  70. God Bless All, Saiom Shriver
  71. A FILIPINO WRITES FROM CHICAGO, RIC S. BASTASA
  72. caregiver leaving again, RIC S. BASTASA
  73. Chicago, Floyd Crenshaw
  74. One Sided Love, Francis Duggan
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