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May 26th, 2016 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 315,122 comments.
Biography of Vachel Lindsay

Vachel Lindsay

Vachel Lindsay (1879 - 1931)

Vachel Lindsay -- poet, idealist, troubador -- is sometimes called Springfield's "second most famous" son. He was born in Springfield in 1879 and always considered the Capitol City his home.

Like any youngster growing up in Central Illinois, Lindsay was schooled in the virtues of Abraham Lincoln, Springfield's most famous resident. He, like Lincoln, was fascinated by the common people, and much of his poetry reflected that fascination.

Young Lindsay, whose full name was Nicholas Vachel Lindsay, attended Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio, for three years before studying art in Chicago and New York City. He later turned to poetry, a medium which was more successful for him.

He first received recognition in 1913, when "Poetry" magazine published his poem "General William Booth Enters into Heaven" about the founder of The Salvation Army. Racial harmony was a concern of Lindsay's. "The Congo," a poem about blacks, was one of his most famous and popular poems.

Lindsay spent much of his life walking across the country, performing and distributing copies of his poetry in exchange for bed and board. Lindsay's poems were very rhythmic, and he performed them almost melodramatically -- chanting, shouting, gesturing, and even singing rather than merely reciting.

Lindsay married Elizabeth Connor in 1925 when he was 45 and she was 23. They had two children, Susan in 1926 and Nicholas in 1927. They settled in Vachel's family home in Springfield in 1929.

The poet's career declined during the 1920s. He began to believe that people were only impressed with his powerful performances, not the poetry itself.

Lindsay became severely depressed as both his creativity and his popularity waned; he committed suicide in 1931 by drinking poison.

Lindsay's verse is characterized by its lyric quality and its simple, forceful rhythms. Among his volumes of poetry are The Congo and Other Poems (1914) and Every Soul Is a Circus (1929)



168 Poems written by Vachel Lindsay

The poems are by default sorted according to volume, but you can also choose to sort them alphabetically or by page views.

Volume | Alphabetically | [Page Views] | Comments | First Lines


Page ViewsPoemComments
18617 The Flower-Fed Buffaloes Comments and analysis of The Flower-Fed Buffaloes by Vachel Lindsay 128 Comments
13265 Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight Comments and analysis of Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight by Vachel Lindsay 519 Comments
10564 The Little Turtle Comments and analysis of The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay 4 Comments
10273 The Proud Farmer
10094 Love and Law Comments and analysis of Love and Law by Vachel Lindsay 23 Comments
9391 A Sense of Humor Comments and analysis of A Sense of Humor by Vachel Lindsay 11 Comments
9143 The Eagle That is Forgotten Comments and analysis of The Eagle That is Forgotten by Vachel Lindsay 24 Comments
8183 Drying Their Wings
8086 The Rose of Midnight Comments and analysis of The Rose of Midnight by Vachel Lindsay 7 Comments
7944 A Rhyme About an Electrical Advertising Sign Comments and analysis of A Rhyme About an Electrical Advertising Sign by Vachel Lindsay 441 Comments
7588 The Hope of the Resurrection Comments and analysis of The Hope of the Resurrection by Vachel Lindsay 3 Comments
7526 On The Garden Wall Comments and analysis of On The Garden Wall by Vachel Lindsay 3 Comments
6965 The Moon's the North Wind's Cooky Comments and analysis of The Moon's the North Wind's Cooky by Vachel Lindsay 12 Comments
6442 An Indian Summer Day on the Prarie Comments and analysis of An Indian Summer Day on the Prarie by Vachel Lindsay 14 Comments
6335 Our Mother Pocahontas Comments and analysis of Our Mother Pocahontas by Vachel Lindsay 18 Comments
5932 The Mysterious Cat Comments and analysis of The Mysterious Cat by Vachel Lindsay 13 Comments
5693 In Memory of a Child Comments and analysis of In Memory of a Child by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
5605 Written for a Musician
5266 Prologue to "Rhymes to be Traded for Bread"
5260 This Section is a Christmas Tree Comments and analysis of This Section is a Christmas Tree by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
4971 Sunshine
4890 The North Star Whispers to the Blacksmith's Son Comments and analysis of The North Star Whispers to the Blacksmith's Son by Vachel Lindsay 204 Comments
4864 Two Old Crows Comments and analysis of Two Old Crows by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
4573 General William Booth Enters into Heaven Comments and analysis of General William Booth Enters into Heaven by Vachel Lindsay 5 Comments
4492 The Perfect Marriage Comments and analysis of The Perfect Marriage by Vachel Lindsay 9 Comments
4480 What the Ghost of the Gambler Said
3980 The Potatoes' Dance Comments and analysis of The Potatoes' Dance by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
3932 Genesis Comments and analysis of Genesis by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
3890 The Scissors-Grinder
3767 The Moon is a Painter Comments and analysis of The Moon is a Painter by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
3734 The Chinese Nightingale Comments and analysis of The Chinese Nightingale by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
3623 How a Little Girl Danced
3610 On the Garden Wall
3528 St. Francis of Assisi Comments and analysis of St. Francis of Assisi by Vachel Lindsay 21 Comments
3522 The Lion
3458 Star of My Heart Comments and analysis of Star of My Heart by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
3432 The Spider and the Ghost of the Fly
3395 Mae Marsh, Motion Picture Actress Comments and analysis of Mae Marsh, Motion Picture Actress by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
3370 Ghosts in Love Comments and analysis of Ghosts in Love by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
3369 To Lady Jane
3274 Yankee Doodle Comments and analysis of Yankee Doodle by Vachel Lindsay 12 Comments
3263 A Dirge for a Righteous Kitten Comments and analysis of A Dirge for a Righteous Kitten by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
3244 On the Road to Nowhere Comments and analysis of On the Road to Nowhere by Vachel Lindsay 15 Comments
3239 The Prarie Battlements
3191 The Ghosts of the Buffaloes
3139 Shakespeare Comments and analysis of Shakespeare by Vachel Lindsay 3 Comments
3125 At Mass Comments and analysis of At Mass by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
3088 The Traveller-Heart
3071 Popcorn, Glass Balls, and Cranberries Comments and analysis of Popcorn, Glass Balls, and Cranberries by Vachel Lindsay 13 Comments
2994 The King of Yellow Butterflies
2973 Caught in a Net Comments and analysis of Caught in a Net by Vachel Lindsay 13 Comments
2969 Alone in the Wind, on the Prairie Comments and analysis of Alone in the Wind, on the Prairie by Vachel Lindsay 47 Comments
2950 Elizabeth Barrett Browning
2949 The Wizard in the Street
2940 The Cornfields
2939 Here's to the Mice! Comments and analysis of Here's to the Mice! by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
2883 The Santa-Fe Trail (A Humoresque)
2866 Yet Gentle Will the Griffin Be Comments and analysis of Yet Gentle Will the Griffin Be by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2852 The Haughty Snail-King
2832 The Spice-Tree Comments and analysis of The Spice-Tree by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
2826 Aladdin and the Jinn
2822 The Merciful Hand
2804 The Strength of the Lonely
2795 Beyond the Moon
2785 What the Rattlesnake Said
2735 What Semiramis Said Comments and analysis of What Semiramis Said by Vachel Lindsay 7 Comments
2723 Heart of God
2689 Mark Twain and Joan of Arc
2666 By the Spring, at Sunset Comments and analysis of By the Spring, at Sunset by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2637 An Argument Comments and analysis of An Argument by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2523 Upon Returning to the Country Road
2504 Sweet Briars of the Stairways
2492 The Light o' the Moon Comments and analysis of The Light o' the Moon by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2482 The Tree of Laughing Bells
2477 Springfield Magical Comments and analysis of Springfield Magical by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2470 How a Little Girl Sang
2469 A Prayer to All the Dead among Mine Own People
2452 The City That Will Not Repent Comments and analysis of The City That Will Not Repent by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
2445 Queen Mab in the Village
2433 In Praise of Songs that Die Comments and analysis of In Praise of Songs that Die by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2425 What the Moon Saw
2409 Buddha Comments and analysis of Buddha by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2408 A Curse for Kings Comments and analysis of A Curse for Kings by Vachel Lindsay 8 Comments
2381 On Reading Omar Khayyam
2365 Who Knows? Comments and analysis of Who Knows? by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2356 Lincoln
2356 The Tale of the Tiger-Tree
2355 The Sun Says His Prayers Comments and analysis of The Sun Says His Prayers by Vachel Lindsay 8 Comments
2329 Niagara
2321 The Booker Washington Trilogy
2245 The Soul of the City Receives the Gift of the Holy Spirit Comments and analysis of The Soul of the City Receives the Gift of the Holy Spirit by Vachel Lindsay 11 Comments
2229 The Empty Boats
2228 Incense Comments and analysis of Incense by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
2197 The Drunkard's Funeral
2196 To Buddha
2193 I Went Down into the Desert
2185 Our Guardian Angels and Their Children
2176 Darling Daughter of Babylon
2152 Blanche Sweet
2150 The Raft
2129 Written for a Musician
2121 Eden in Winter Comments and analysis of Eden in Winter by Vachel Lindsay 11 Comments
2106 An Apology for the Bottle Volcanic
2105 The Song of the Garden-Toad
2102 The Master of the Dance
2094 Why I Voted the Socialist Ticket
2088 The Flower of Mending Comments and analysis of The Flower of Mending by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2048 The Fairy Bridal-Hymn Comments and analysis of The Fairy Bridal-Hymn by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2048 When Bryan Speaks
2041 To Mary Pickford Comments and analysis of To Mary Pickford by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2019 Rhymes for Gloriana
2006 How I Walked Alone in the Jungles of Heaven
1989 Honor Among Scamps
1986 I Heard Immanuel Singing
1974 What the Miner in the Desert Said
1938 To Reformers in Despair
1935 On the Building of Springfield
1897 What the Coal-Heaver Said Comments and analysis of What the Coal-Heaver Said by Vachel Lindsay 8 Comments
1890 What the Gray-Winged Fairy Said
1890 Where Is David, the Next King of Israel?
1888 With a Bouquet of Twelve Roses Comments and analysis of With a Bouquet of Twelve Roses by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
1885 Look You, I'll Go Pray
1885 When Gassy Thompson Struck It Rich
1843 Above the Battle's Front
1833 Titian
1830 The Amaranth
1826 The Hearth Eternal
1822 The Beggar's Valentine Comments and analysis of The Beggar's Valentine by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
1822 The Drunkards in the Street
1789 To the United States Senate Comments and analysis of To the United States Senate by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
1750 Sweethearts of the Year
1675 Where Is the Real Non-Resistant
1654 This, My Song, Is Made For Kerensky
1619 Factory Windows are Always Broken Comments and analysis of Factory Windows are Always Broken by Vachel Lindsay 8 Comments
1580 The Encyclopaedia
1561 Epitaphs For Two Players
1561 The Illinois Village
1498 What the Sexton Said
1242 The Dandelion Comments and analysis of The Dandelion by Vachel Lindsay 3 Comments
1077 Euclid Comments and analysis of Euclid by Vachel Lindsay 12 Comments
776 The Gamblers Comments and analysis of The Gamblers by Vachel Lindsay 50 Comments
769 The Unpardonable Sin Comments and analysis of The Unpardonable Sin by Vachel Lindsay 41 Comments
731 How Samson Bore Away the Gates of Gaza Comments and analysis of How Samson Bore Away the Gates of Gaza by Vachel Lindsay 4 Comments
679 Foreign Missions in Battle Array Comments and analysis of Foreign Missions in Battle Array by Vachel Lindsay 17 Comments
674 The Firemen's Ball Comments and analysis of The Firemen's Ball by Vachel Lindsay 12 Comments
625 To Jane Addams at the Hague
608 The Alchemist's Petition Comments and analysis of The Alchemist's Petition by Vachel Lindsay 10 Comments
547 A Net to Snare the Moonlight
542 The Bankrupt Peace-Maker Comments and analysis of The Bankrupt Peace-Maker by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
524 The Black Hawk War of the Artists
468 The Leaden-Eyed Comments and analysis of The Leaden-Eyed by Vachel Lindsay 293 Comments
453 Epilogue
231 The Sorceress!
229 The Queen of Bubbles
166 The Wedding of the Rose and the Lotos Comments and analysis of The Wedding of the Rose and the Lotos by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
147 The Trap Comments and analysis of The Trap by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
137 Michaelangelo Comments and analysis of Michaelangelo by Vachel Lindsay 6 Comments
130 The Knight in Disguise
116 To Gloriana
113 The Broncho That Would Not Be Broken Comments and analysis of The Broncho That Would Not Be Broken by Vachel Lindsay 7 Comments
112 King Arthur's Men Have Come Again
112 We Meet at the Judgment and I Fear It Not Comments and analysis of We Meet at the Judgment and I Fear It Not by Vachel Lindsay 14 Comments
90 Galahad, Knight Who Perished
66 The Congo: A Study of the Negro Race Comments and analysis of The Congo: A Study of the Negro Race by Vachel Lindsay 247 Comments
58 The Jingo and the Minstrel
48 My Lady in Her White Silk Shawl
33 Concerning Emperors
19 The Angel and the Clown


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