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,
        Bareheaded,
        Shoveling,
        Wrecking,
        Planning,
        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!
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.
 

Poems by This Author

At a Window by Carl Sandburg
Give me hunger
Autumn Movement by Carl Sandburg
I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts
Back Yard by Carl Sandburg
Shine on, O moon of summer
Caboose Thoughts by Carl Sandburg
It's going to come out all rightódo you know
Cahoots by Carl Sandburg
Play it across the table
Fire Dreams by Carl Sandburg
I remember here by the fire
Fog by Carl Sandburg
The fog comes
Follies by Carl Sandburg
Shaken
Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind by Carl Sandburg
Grass by Carl Sandburg
Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo
Handfuls by Carl Sandburg
Blossoms of babies
Honky Tonk in Cleveland, Ohio by Carl Sandburg
It's a jazz affair, drum crashes and cornet razzes.
How Much? by Carl Sandburg
How much do you love me, a million bushels
I am the People, the Mob by Carl Sandburg
I am the people--the mob--the crowd--the mass.
In a Breath by Carl Sandburg
High noon. White sun flashes on the Michigan Avenue asphalt
Languages by Carl Sandburg
There are no handles upon a language
Loam by Carl Sandburg
In the loam we sleep
Mag by Carl Sandburg
I wish to God I never saw you, Mag.
Poems Done on a Late Night Car by Carl Sandburg
I am The Great White Way of the city
Prayers of Steel by Carl Sandburg
Lay me on an anvil, O God
Remorse by Carl Sandburg
The horse's name was Remorse
Summer Stars by Carl Sandburg
Bend low again, night of summer stars
Testament by Carl Sandburg
I give the undertakers permission to haul my body
Theme in Yellow by Carl Sandburg
I spot the hills
Under the Harvest Moon by Carl Sandburg
Under the harvest moon
Wilderness by Carl Sandburg
There is a wolf in me
Window by Carl Sandburg
Night from a railroad car window


Further Reading

Poems About Farewells
A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
by John Donne
Before the Deployment
by Jehanne Dubrow
Farewell
by John Clare
Farewell to Yang, Who's Leaving for Kuo-chou
by Wang Wei
Good Night
by Wilhelm Müller
Kissing Stieglitz Good-Bye
by Gerald Stern
Late August on the Lido
by John Hollander
Losing Track
by Denise Levertov
Remember
by Christina Rossetti
Since Hannah Moved Away
by Judith Viorst
So Long
by Walt Whitman
Verses upon the Burning of our House
by Anne Bradstreet
When We Two Parted
by George Gordon Byron