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September 4th, 2015 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 294,687 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
18421 The Flower-Fed Buffaloes Comments and analysis of The Flower-Fed Buffaloes by Vachel Lindsay 123 Comments
12899 Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight Comments and analysis of Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight by Vachel Lindsay 517 Comments
10267 The Little Turtle Comments and analysis of The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay 4 Comments
10034 The Proud Farmer
9943 Love and Law Comments and analysis of Love and Law by Vachel Lindsay 14 Comments
9218 A Sense of Humor Comments and analysis of A Sense of Humor by Vachel Lindsay 11 Comments
8909 The Eagle That is Forgotten Comments and analysis of The Eagle That is Forgotten by Vachel Lindsay 18 Comments
7990 Drying Their Wings
7835 The Rose of Midnight Comments and analysis of The Rose of Midnight by Vachel Lindsay 7 Comments
7673 A Rhyme About an Electrical Advertising Sign Comments and analysis of A Rhyme About an Electrical Advertising Sign by Vachel Lindsay 436 Comments
7397 The Hope of the Resurrection Comments and analysis of The Hope of the Resurrection by Vachel Lindsay 3 Comments
7355 On The Garden Wall Comments and analysis of On The Garden Wall by Vachel Lindsay 3 Comments
6589 The Moon's the North Wind's Cooky Comments and analysis of The Moon's the North Wind's Cooky by Vachel Lindsay 6 Comments
6118 An Indian Summer Day on the Prarie Comments and analysis of An Indian Summer Day on the Prarie by Vachel Lindsay 10 Comments
6089 Our Mother Pocahontas Comments and analysis of Our Mother Pocahontas by Vachel Lindsay 16 Comments
5770 The Broncho That Would Not Be Broken Comments and analysis of The Broncho That Would Not Be Broken by Vachel Lindsay 7 Comments
5760 The Mysterious Cat Comments and analysis of The Mysterious Cat by Vachel Lindsay 12 Comments
5459 In Memory of a Child Comments and analysis of In Memory of a Child by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
5424 Written for a Musician
5123 This Section is a Christmas Tree Comments and analysis of This Section is a Christmas Tree by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
5096 Prologue to "Rhymes to be Traded for Bread"
4804 Sunshine
4741 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
4673 Two Old Crows Comments and analysis of Two Old Crows by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
4388 General William Booth Enters into Heaven Comments and analysis of General William Booth Enters into Heaven by Vachel Lindsay 5 Comments
4351 What the Ghost of the Gambler Said
4270 The Perfect Marriage Comments and analysis of The Perfect Marriage by Vachel Lindsay 8 Comments
3768 Genesis Comments and analysis of Genesis by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
3742 The Scissors-Grinder
3716 The Potatoes' Dance Comments and analysis of The Potatoes' Dance by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
3632 The Moon is a Painter Comments and analysis of The Moon is a Painter by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
3602 The Chinese Nightingale Comments and analysis of The Chinese Nightingale by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
3433 On the Garden Wall
3356 How a Little Girl Danced
3353 St. Francis of Assisi Comments and analysis of St. Francis of Assisi by Vachel Lindsay 20 Comments
3302 The Lion
3285 Star of My Heart Comments and analysis of Star of My Heart by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
3238 To Lady Jane
3233 Ghosts in Love Comments and analysis of Ghosts in Love by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
3166 Mae Marsh, Motion Picture Actress Comments and analysis of Mae Marsh, Motion Picture Actress by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
3114 A Dirge for a Righteous Kitten Comments and analysis of A Dirge for a Righteous Kitten by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
3110 The Prarie Battlements
3106 The Spider and the Ghost of the Fly
3084 Yankee Doodle Comments and analysis of Yankee Doodle by Vachel Lindsay 9 Comments
3081 On the Road to Nowhere Comments and analysis of On the Road to Nowhere by Vachel Lindsay 15 Comments
3001 Shakespeare Comments and analysis of Shakespeare by Vachel Lindsay 3 Comments
2989 At Mass Comments and analysis of At Mass by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
2976 The Ghosts of the Buffaloes
2939 The Traveller-Heart
2937 Popcorn, Glass Balls, and Cranberries Comments and analysis of Popcorn, Glass Balls, and Cranberries by Vachel Lindsay 12 Comments
2808 Elizabeth Barrett Browning
2790 Alone in the Wind, on the Prairie Comments and analysis of Alone in the Wind, on the Prairie by Vachel Lindsay 43 Comments
2784 Here's to the Mice! Comments and analysis of Here's to the Mice! by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
2774 The King of Yellow Butterflies
2763 The Santa-Fe Trail (A Humoresque)
2737 The Wizard in the Street
2734 The Haughty Snail-King
2714 Yet Gentle Will the Griffin Be Comments and analysis of Yet Gentle Will the Griffin Be by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2702 The Merciful Hand
2698 The Spice-Tree Comments and analysis of The Spice-Tree by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
2672 Aladdin and the Jinn
2662 What the Rattlesnake Said
2648 The Strength of the Lonely
2646 Beyond the Moon
2620 The Trap Comments and analysis of The Trap by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2608 What Semiramis Said Comments and analysis of What Semiramis Said by Vachel Lindsay 7 Comments
2604 Heart of God
2581 Mark Twain and Joan of Arc
2534 By the Spring, at Sunset Comments and analysis of By the Spring, at Sunset by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2480 An Argument Comments and analysis of An Argument by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2472 Caught in a Net Comments and analysis of Caught in a Net by Vachel Lindsay 11 Comments
2463 My Lady in Her White Silk Shawl
2363 A Prayer to All the Dead among Mine Own People
2360 Upon Returning to the Country Road
2355 Sweet Briars of the Stairways
2344 Springfield Magical Comments and analysis of Springfield Magical by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2341 The Tree of Laughing Bells
2339 How a Little Girl Sang
2326 The Light o' the Moon Comments and analysis of The Light o' the Moon by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2298 What the Moon Saw
2289 The City That Will Not Repent Comments and analysis of The City That Will Not Repent by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
2275 A Curse for Kings Comments and analysis of A Curse for Kings by Vachel Lindsay 8 Comments
2270 King Arthur's Men Have Come Again
2269 Queen Mab in the Village
2268 In Praise of Songs that Die Comments and analysis of In Praise of Songs that Die by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2253 On Reading Omar Khayyam
2241 Who Knows? Comments and analysis of Who Knows? by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2226 The Sun Says His Prayers Comments and analysis of The Sun Says His Prayers by Vachel Lindsay 8 Comments
2220 Lincoln
2203 The Tale of the Tiger-Tree
2192 Niagara
2162 Buddha Comments and analysis of Buddha by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
2148 The Booker Washington Trilogy
2117 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 8 Comments
2110 Incense Comments and analysis of Incense by Vachel Lindsay 2 Comments
2068 The Empty Boats
2067 I Went Down into the Desert
2067 Our Guardian Angels and Their Children
2060 To Buddha
2028 The Drunkard's Funeral
2026 Blanche Sweet
2007 An Apology for the Bottle Volcanic
2005 Darling Daughter of Babylon
1980 The Raft
1973 Eden in Winter Comments and analysis of Eden in Winter by Vachel Lindsay 10 Comments
1973 The Song of the Garden-Toad
1972 Written for a Musician
1963 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 10 Comments
1952 Why I Voted the Socialist Ticket
1951 Galahad, Knight Who Perished
1931 To Mary Pickford Comments and analysis of To Mary Pickford by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
1927 The Master of the Dance
1922 The Flower of Mending Comments and analysis of The Flower of Mending by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
1921 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
1918 When Bryan Speaks
1913 The Fairy Bridal-Hymn Comments and analysis of The Fairy Bridal-Hymn by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
1905 Rhymes for Gloriana
1903 How I Walked Alone in the Jungles of Heaven
1880 Honor Among Scamps
1863 Concerning Emperors
1826 I Heard Immanuel Singing
1825 What the Miner in the Desert Said
1785 What the Gray-Winged Fairy Said
1785 Where Is David, the Next King of Israel?
1775 When Gassy Thompson Struck It Rich
1775 With a Bouquet of Twelve Roses Comments and analysis of With a Bouquet of Twelve Roses by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
1768 The Cornfields
1767 On the Building of Springfield
1727 Above the Battle's Front
1722 Titian
1722 What the Coal-Heaver Said Comments and analysis of What the Coal-Heaver Said by Vachel Lindsay 5 Comments
1721 To Reformers in Despair
1718 The Amaranth
1708 The Beggar's Valentine Comments and analysis of The Beggar's Valentine by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
1705 The Drunkards in the Street
1695 The Hearth Eternal
1647 Sweethearts of the Year
1637 Look You, I'll Go Pray
1622 To the United States Senate Comments and analysis of To the United States Senate by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
1569 Where Is the Real Non-Resistant
1520 This, My Song, Is Made For Kerensky
1477 The Congo: A Study of the Negro Race Comments and analysis of The Congo: A Study of the Negro Race by Vachel Lindsay 234 Comments
1468 The Encyclopaedia
1457 The Illinois Village
1441 Epitaphs For Two Players
1393 What the Sexton Said
943 The Dandelion Comments and analysis of The Dandelion by Vachel Lindsay 3 Comments
851 Factory Windows are Always Broken Comments and analysis of Factory Windows are Always Broken by Vachel Lindsay 7 Comments
775 Euclid Comments and analysis of Euclid by Vachel Lindsay 6 Comments
637 The Unpardonable Sin Comments and analysis of The Unpardonable Sin by Vachel Lindsay 41 Comments
607 The Gamblers Comments and analysis of The Gamblers by Vachel Lindsay 45 Comments
550 How Samson Bore Away the Gates of Gaza Comments and analysis of How Samson Bore Away the Gates of Gaza by Vachel Lindsay 3 Comments
524 Foreign Missions in Battle Array Comments and analysis of Foreign Missions in Battle Array by Vachel Lindsay 16 Comments
523 The Firemen's Ball Comments and analysis of The Firemen's Ball by Vachel Lindsay 11 Comments
486 To Jane Addams at the Hague
471 The Jingo and the Minstrel
454 The Alchemist's Petition Comments and analysis of The Alchemist's Petition by Vachel Lindsay 9 Comments
432 The Angel and the Clown
429 A Net to Snare the Moonlight
407 The Black Hawk War of the Artists
390 The Bankrupt Peace-Maker Comments and analysis of The Bankrupt Peace-Maker by Vachel Lindsay 1 Comment
351 Epilogue
140 The Leaden-Eyed Comments and analysis of The Leaden-Eyed by Vachel Lindsay 284 Comments
82 The Queen of Bubbles
52 The Sorceress!
43 To Gloriana
13 Michaelangelo Comments and analysis of Michaelangelo by Vachel Lindsay 5 Comments
13 The Knight in Disguise


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