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,
Bulding, 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, pround to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Carl Sandburg's poem Chicago

48 Comments

  1. asas says:

    this great writer shows emotion in his work. I looooooooooooooooovve iiiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttt.

  2. Gerald Mendrix says:

    i just hate this poem

  3. shyamala says:

    this poem is highly touhing sandburg makes his true defence for his city

  4. chris cardinale says:

    Carl Sandburg is known for writing about the true meaning of life. In this essay Chicago it shows how fast pace and rugged this city is and how everyone wants to blame other people for the problems in the city. He depicts the city of being fast pace and that he isnt enjoying it. Maybe he wants to get out of Chicago and into a new city and find out what real happiness in life is all about.

  5. josh senger says:

    I believe that in the poem “Chicago” it is talking about how the working people in the city. Thay are always doing thier best to provide for thier families but it is hard to just get by. It is saying that the city is hard to work in and that it is dirty and always trying to put you down.

  6. Matthew Nourmohamadian says:

    Sandurg uses an evil dog as a metaphor to the city of Chicago. He uses personifcation to give both the city and the dog human like qualities.

  7. Tabari says:

    The poem Chicago really tell how the city can be so harsh and not inviting. The use of apostrophy gives life to the city. Sandburg has little respect for the city and tells how he really feels.

  8. chris cardinale says:

    Carl Sandburg is known for writing about the true meaning of life. In this essay Chicago it shows how fast pace and rugged this city is and how everyone wants to blame other people for the problems in the city. He depicts the city of being fast pace and that he isnt enjoying it. Maybe he wants to get out of Chicago and into a new city and find out what real happiness in life is all about.

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