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April 30th, 2016 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 313,715 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
18602 The Flower-Fed Buffaloes Comments and analysis of The Flower-Fed Buffaloes by Vachel Lindsay 128 Comments
13243 Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight Comments and analysis of Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight by Vachel Lindsay 519 Comments
10546 The Little Turtle Comments and analysis of The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay 4 Comments
10262 The Proud Farmer
10077 Love and Law Comments and analysis of Love and Law by Vachel Lindsay 21 Comments
9368 A Sense of Humor Comments and analysis of A Sense of Humor by Vachel Lindsay 11 Comments
9120 The Eagle That is Forgotten Comments and analysis of The Eagle That is Forgotten by Vachel Lindsay 24 Comments
8173 Drying Their Wings
8076 The Rose of Midnight Comments and analysis of The Rose of Midnight by Vachel Lindsay 7 Comments
7923 A Rhyme About an Electrical Advertising Sign Comments and analysis of A Rhyme About an Electrical Advertising Sign by Vachel Lindsay 441 Comments
7564 The Hope of the Resurrection Comments and analysis of The Hope of the Resurrection by Vachel Lindsay 3 Comments
7509 On The Garden Wall Comments and analysis of On The Garden Wall by Vachel Lindsay 3 Comments
6937 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
6418 An Indian Summer Day on the Prarie Comments and analysis of An Indian Summer Day on the Prarie by Vachel Lindsay 14 Comments
6323 Our Mother Pocahontas Comments and analysis of Our Mother Pocahontas by Vachel Lindsay 18 Comments
5917 The Mysterious Cat Comments and analysis of The Mysterious Cat by Vachel Lindsay 13 Comments
5677 In Memory of a Child Comments and analysis of In Memory of a Child by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
5591 Written for a Musician
5252 Prologue to "Rhymes to be Traded for Bread"
5244 This Section is a Christmas Tree Comments and analysis of This Section is a Christmas Tree by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
4961 Sunshine
4883 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
4850 Two Old Crows Comments and analysis of Two Old Crows by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
4566 General William Booth Enters into Heaven Comments and analysis of General William Booth Enters into Heaven by Vachel Lindsay 5 Comments
4482 The Perfect Marriage Comments and analysis of The Perfect Marriage by Vachel Lindsay 9 Comments
4465 What the Ghost of the Gambler Said
3959 The Potatoes' Dance Comments and analysis of The Potatoes' Dance by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
3919 Genesis Comments and analysis of Genesis by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
3870 The Scissors-Grinder
3752 The Moon is a Painter Comments and analysis of The Moon is a Painter by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
3716 The Chinese Nightingale Comments and analysis of The Chinese Nightingale by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
3607 How a Little Girl Danced
3601 On the Garden Wall
3512 St. Francis of Assisi Comments and analysis of St. Francis of Assisi by Vachel Lindsay 21 Comments
3512 The Lion
3436 Star of My Heart Comments and analysis of Star of My Heart by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
3409 The Spider and the Ghost of the Fly
3376 Mae Marsh, Motion Picture Actress Comments and analysis of Mae Marsh, Motion Picture Actress by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
3362 To Lady Jane
3359 Ghosts in Love Comments and analysis of Ghosts in Love by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
3260 Yankee Doodle Comments and analysis of Yankee Doodle by Vachel Lindsay 12 Comments
3248 A Dirge for a Righteous Kitten Comments and analysis of A Dirge for a Righteous Kitten by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
3230 The Prarie Battlements
3230 On the Road to Nowhere Comments and analysis of On the Road to Nowhere by Vachel Lindsay 15 Comments
3180 The Ghosts of the Buffaloes
3130 Shakespeare Comments and analysis of Shakespeare by Vachel Lindsay 3 Comments
3105 At Mass Comments and analysis of At Mass by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
3074 The Traveller-Heart
3065 Popcorn, Glass Balls, and Cranberries Comments and analysis of Popcorn, Glass Balls, and Cranberries by Vachel Lindsay 13 Comments
2959 Alone in the Wind, on the Prairie Comments and analysis of Alone in the Wind, on the Prairie by Vachel Lindsay 47 Comments
2959 Caught in a Net Comments and analysis of Caught in a Net by Vachel Lindsay 13 Comments
2936 The Wizard in the Street
2933 Elizabeth Barrett Browning
2928 Here's to the Mice! Comments and analysis of Here's to the Mice! by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
2922 The Cornfields
2915 The King of Yellow Butterflies
2877 The Santa-Fe Trail (A Humoresque)
2853 Yet Gentle Will the Griffin Be Comments and analysis of Yet Gentle Will the Griffin Be by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2841 The Haughty Snail-King
2817 The Spice-Tree Comments and analysis of The Spice-Tree by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
2813 The Merciful Hand
2807 Aladdin and the Jinn
2788 The Strength of the Lonely
2782 Beyond the Moon
2777 What the Rattlesnake Said
2724 What Semiramis Said Comments and analysis of What Semiramis Said by Vachel Lindsay 7 Comments
2712 Heart of God
2682 Mark Twain and Joan of Arc
2650 By the Spring, at Sunset Comments and analysis of By the Spring, at Sunset by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2620 An Argument Comments and analysis of An Argument by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2509 Upon Returning to the Country Road
2480 Sweet Briars of the Stairways
2480 The Light o' the Moon Comments and analysis of The Light o' the Moon by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2470 The Tree of Laughing Bells
2462 How a Little Girl Sang
2461 Springfield Magical Comments and analysis of Springfield Magical by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2459 A Prayer to All the Dead among Mine Own People
2436 The City That Will Not Repent Comments and analysis of The City That Will Not Repent by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
2419 In Praise of Songs that Die Comments and analysis of In Praise of Songs that Die by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2413 Queen Mab in the Village
2411 What the Moon Saw
2397 Buddha Comments and analysis of Buddha by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2390 A Curse for Kings Comments and analysis of A Curse for Kings by Vachel Lindsay 8 Comments
2372 On Reading Omar Khayyam
2354 Who Knows? Comments and analysis of Who Knows? by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2348 The Sun Says His Prayers Comments and analysis of The Sun Says His Prayers by Vachel Lindsay 8 Comments
2342 Lincoln
2341 The Tale of the Tiger-Tree
2314 Niagara
2309 The Booker Washington Trilogy
2234 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
2220 Incense Comments and analysis of Incense by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
2211 The Empty Boats
2190 The Drunkard's Funeral
2186 To Buddha
2180 I Went Down into the Desert
2176 Our Guardian Angels and Their Children
2164 Darling Daughter of Babylon
2142 The Raft
2136 Blanche Sweet
2118 Written for a Musician
2106 Eden in Winter Comments and analysis of Eden in Winter by Vachel Lindsay 11 Comments
2099 An Apology for the Bottle Volcanic
2089 The Song of the Garden-Toad
2082 The Master of the Dance
2082 Why I Voted the Socialist Ticket
2061 The Flower of Mending Comments and analysis of The Flower of Mending by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2033 To Mary Pickford Comments and analysis of To Mary Pickford by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2031 When Bryan Speaks
2029 The Fairy Bridal-Hymn Comments and analysis of The Fairy Bridal-Hymn by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2010 Rhymes for Gloriana
2001 How I Walked Alone in the Jungles of Heaven
1977 Honor Among Scamps
1972 I Heard Immanuel Singing
1955 What the Miner in the Desert Said
1926 On the Building of Springfield
1916 To Reformers in Despair
1886 What the Gray-Winged Fairy Said
1884 With a Bouquet of Twelve Roses Comments and analysis of With a Bouquet of Twelve Roses by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
1881 Where Is David, the Next King of Israel?
1878 What the Coal-Heaver Said Comments and analysis of What the Coal-Heaver Said by Vachel Lindsay 8 Comments
1875 When Gassy Thompson Struck It Rich
1866 Look You, I'll Go Pray
1837 Above the Battle's Front
1818 The Beggar's Valentine Comments and analysis of The Beggar's Valentine by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
1818 Titian
1817 The Drunkards in the Street
1816 The Amaranth
1807 The Hearth Eternal
1777 To the United States Senate Comments and analysis of To the United States Senate by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
1744 Sweethearts of the Year
1667 Where Is the Real Non-Resistant
1641 This, My Song, Is Made For Kerensky
1580 Factory Windows are Always Broken Comments and analysis of Factory Windows are Always Broken by Vachel Lindsay 8 Comments
1571 The Encyclopaedia
1552 Epitaphs For Two Players
1552 The Illinois Village
1492 What the Sexton Said
1214 The Dandelion Comments and analysis of The Dandelion by Vachel Lindsay 3 Comments
1057 Euclid Comments and analysis of Euclid by Vachel Lindsay 12 Comments
760 The Unpardonable Sin Comments and analysis of The Unpardonable Sin by Vachel Lindsay 41 Comments
759 The Gamblers Comments and analysis of The Gamblers by Vachel Lindsay 48 Comments
710 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
664 Foreign Missions in Battle Array Comments and analysis of Foreign Missions in Battle Array by Vachel Lindsay 17 Comments
660 The Firemen's Ball Comments and analysis of The Firemen's Ball by Vachel Lindsay 12 Comments
608 To Jane Addams at the Hague
594 The Alchemist's Petition Comments and analysis of The Alchemist's Petition by Vachel Lindsay 10 Comments
539 A Net to Snare the Moonlight
524 The Bankrupt Peace-Maker Comments and analysis of The Bankrupt Peace-Maker by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
516 The Black Hawk War of the Artists
444 Epilogue
443 The Leaden-Eyed Comments and analysis of The Leaden-Eyed by Vachel Lindsay 293 Comments
221 The Sorceress!
216 The Queen of Bubbles
149 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
127 The Trap Comments and analysis of The Trap by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
125 Michaelangelo Comments and analysis of Michaelangelo by Vachel Lindsay 6 Comments
121 The Knight in Disguise
106 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
100 King Arthur's Men Have Come Again
99 To Gloriana
95 The Broncho That Would Not Be Broken Comments and analysis of The Broncho That Would Not Be Broken by Vachel Lindsay 7 Comments
78 Galahad, Knight Who Perished
51 The Jingo and the Minstrel
42 My Lady in Her White Silk Shawl
37 The Congo: A Study of the Negro Race Comments and analysis of The Congo: A Study of the Negro Race by Vachel Lindsay 245 Comments
24 Concerning Emperors
12 The Angel and the Clown


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