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Poems On / About CHICAGO  7/12/2014 7:34:54 AM
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Best Poems About / On CHICAGO
 
 
 
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  181.     

Snowy Owl - Lincoln Park Zoo

Call me one happy snowy owl,
Outside at the Lincoln Park Zoo,
As arctic sub zero winds howl,
Freezing Chicago through and through.
Perched on high in my habitat,
Warm in my snowy feathered cloak.
The lack of humans, I muse that
'Tis time for how cold is it joke.
'Too cold, too cold, ' humans complain.
'It is so cold, ' humans do shout.
And these words form an icy chain.
Each such complaint must be thawed out.

Come visit me when super cold.
Stop complaining - be super bold.
 
Ima Ryma

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  182.     

Welcome To The Chicago Commercial Club

January 14, 1880

CHICAGO sounds rough to the maker of verse;
One comfort we have--Cincinnati sounds worse;
If we only were licensed to say Chicago!
But Worcester and Webster won't let us, you know.

No matter, we songsters must sing as we can;
We can make some nice couplets with Lake Michigan,
And what more resembles a nightingale's voice,
Than the oily trisyllable, sweet Illinois?

Your waters are fresh, while our harbor is salt,
But we know you can't help it--it is n't your fault;
Our city is old and your city is new,
But the railroad men tell us we're greener than you.

You have seen our gilt dome, and no doubt you've been told
That the orbs of the universe round it are rolled;
But I'll own it to you, and I ought to know best,
That this is n't quite true of all stars of the West.

You'll go to Mount Auburn,--we'll show you the track,--
And can stay there,--unless you prefer to come back;
And Bunker's tall shaft you can climb if you will,
But you'll puff like a paragraph praising a pill.

You must see--but you have seen--our old Faneuil Hall,
Our churches, our school-rooms, our sample-rooms, all;
And, perhaps, though the idiots must have their jokes,
You have found our good people much like other folks.

There are cities by rivers, by lakes, and by seas,
Each as full of itself as a cheese-mite of cheese;
And a city will brag as a game-cock will crow
Don't your cockerels at home--just a little, you know?

But we'll crow for you now--here's a health to the boys,
Men, maidens, and matrons of fair Illinois,
And the rainbow of friendship that arches its span
From the green of the sea to the blue Michigan!
 
Oliver Wendell Holmes

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  183.     

A Power-Plant

The Fisk Street turbine power station in Chicago

The invisible wheels go softly round and round—
Light is the tread of brazen-footed Power.
Spirits of air, caged in the iron tower,
Sing as they labor with a purring sound.
The abysmal fires, grated and chained and bound,
Burn white and still, in swift obedience cower;
While far and wide the myriad lamps, aflower,
Glow like star-gardens and the night confound.
This we have done for thee, almighty Lord;
Yea, even as they who built at thy command
The pillared temple, or in marble made
Thine image, or who sang thy deathless word.
We take the weapons of thy dread right hand,
And wield them in thy service unafraid.
 
Harriet Monroe

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  184.     

Yanks

O'Leary, from Chicago, and a first-class fightin' man,
For his father was from Kerry, where the gentle art began:
Sergeant Dennis P. O'Leary, from somewhere on Archie Road,
Dodgin' shells and smellin' powder while the battle ebbed and flowed.

And the captain says: 'O'Leary, from your fightin' company
Pick a dozen fightin' Yankees and come skirmishin' with me;
Pick a dozen fightin' devils, and I know it's you who can.'
And O'Leary, he saluted like a first-class fightin' man.

O'Leary's eye was piercin' and O'Leary's voice was clear:
'Dimitri Georgoupoulos!' And Dimitri answered 'Here!'
Then 'Vladimir Slaminsky! Step three paces to the front,
For we're wantin' you to join us in a little Heinie hunt!'

'Garibaldi Ravioli!' Garibaldi was to share;
And 'Ole Axel Kettleson!' and 'Thomas Scalp-the-Bear!'
Who was Choctaw by inheritance, bred in the blood and bones,
But set down in army records by the name of Thomas Jones.

'Van Winkle Schuyler Stuyvesant!' Van Winkle was a bud
From the ancient tree of Stuyvesant and had it in his blood;
'Don Miguel de Colombo!' Don Miguel's next of kin
Were across the Rio Grande when Don Miguel went in.

'Ulysses Grant O'Sheridan!' Ulysses' sire, you see,
Had been at Appomattox near the famous apple-tree;
And 'Patrick Michael Casey!' Patrick Michael, you can tell,
Was a fightin' man by nature with three fightin' names as well.

'Joe Wheeler Lee!' And Joseph had a pair of fightin' eyes;
And his granddad was a Johnny, as perhaps you might surmise;
Then 'Robert Bruce MacPherson!' And the Yankee squad was done
With 'Isaac Abie Cohen!' once a lightweight champion.

Then O'Leary paced 'em forward and, says he: 'You Yanks, fall in!'
And he marched 'em to the captain. 'Let the skirmishin' begin.'
Says he, 'The Yanks are comin', and you beat 'em if you can!'
And saluted like a soldier and first-class fightin' man!
 
James W Foley

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Poems On / About CHICAGO