Sunday, July 23, 2006

Another Poet I love

Vachel Lindsay - -

Like a composer that writes for his own performance, Lindsay wrote for his own readings. Many of his manuscripts are like scripts for the stage. He was exuberant, thoughtful, outrageous, and very American.

This is one of my favorites. I would have put it on the sidebar but the lines are too long and would have to be broken, ruining the scan of the words. . .

The Leaden-Eyed

Let not young souls be smothered out before
They do quaint deeds and fully flaunt their pride.
It is the world's one crime its babes grow dull,
Its poor are ox-like, limp and leaden-eyed.

Not that they starve, but starve so dreamlessly;
Not that they sow, but that they seldom reap;
Not that they serve, but have no gods to serve;
Not that they die, but that they die like sheep.

-- Vachel Lindsay


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for including that poem. I sent a link to my sons (21 and 14) as I think it's one they should read.

11:48 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

one of the biggest disappointments i have with the current way our schools are being run is the almost total absence of art, music, and literature. here in arizona if it's not on the standards test it's not being taught or even made available. i'm glad you enjoyed this. there will be more to come.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Larry Stevens said...

Thanks for spotlighting Vachel Lindsay. I serve on the board The Vachel Lindsay Association, a non-profit organization devoted to the legacy & ideals of the poet. We've been active for 60 years here in the Vachel's hometown, Springfield, Illinois.

I blog about Vachel on behalf of the VLA here.

I love Lindsay's art, his bardic devotion to the oral tradition. His politics are particularly good, with the obvious exceptions of his early prohibitionism and enthusiam for the missionary movement.

The Leaden Eyed is a particularly good choice to represent the poet's considerable body of work in one short poem. His was a democratic, populist and utopian voice.

Thanks again for remembering this great American dreamer.

5:22 PM  
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