Vachel Lindsay

Posting Date: July 23, 2008 [EBook #1021]

Release Date: August, 1997

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


Produced by Alan R. Light


By Vachel Lindsay

[Nicholas Vachel Lindsay, Illinois Artist. 1879-1931.]

With an introduction by Harriet Monroe Editor of "Poetry"

[Notes: The 'stage-directions' given in "The Congo" and those

poems which are meant to be read aloud, are traditionally printed to the

right side of the first line it refers to. This is possible, but

impracticable, to imitate in a simple ASCII text. Therefore these

'stage-directions' are given on the line BEFORE the first line they

refer to, and are furthermore indented 20 spaces and enclosed by #s to

keep it clear to the reader which parts are text and which parts


[This electronic text was transcribed from a reprint of the original

edition, which was first published in New York, in September, 1914. Due

to a great deal of irregularity between titles in the table of contents

and in the text of the original, there are some slight differences from

the original in these matters--with the more complete titles replacing

cropped ones. In one case they are different enough that both are

given, and "Twenty Poems in which...." was originally "Twenty Moon

Poems" in the table of contents--the odd thing about both these titles

is that there are actually twenty-TWO moon poems.]


Introduction. By Harriet Monroe

When 'Poetry, A Magazine of Verse', was first published in Chicago in

the autumn of 1912, an Illinois poet, Vachel Lindsay, was, quite

appropriately, one of its first discoveries. It may be not quite without

significance that the issue of January, 1913, which led off with

'General William Booth Enters into Heaven', immediately followed the

number in which the great poet of Bengal, Rabindra Nath Tagore, was

first presented to the American public, and that these two antipodal

poets soon appeared in person among the earliest visitors to the editor.

For the coming together of East and West may prove to be the great event

of the approaching era, and if the poetry of the now famous Bengali

laureate garners the richest wisdom and highest spirituality of his

ancient race, so one may venture to believe that the young Illinois

troubadour brings from Lincoln's city an authentic strain of the lyric

message of this newer world.

It is hardly necessary, perhaps, to mention Mr. Lindsay's loyalty to the

people of his place and hour, or the training in sympathy with their

aims and ideals which he has achieved through vagabondish wanderings in

the Middle West. And we may permit time to decide how far he expresses

their emotion. But it may be opportune to emphasize his plea for poetry

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