Chicago is as poem that captures how the cities of America are in that time
period. He addresses the city as “you”, as if it were a living person and all of the people
that make things happen in the city are the organs of that person. The poem has a positive
outlook on the city of Chicago. It details the flaws and shortcomings of the city. He talks
of painted women on the streets luring the farm boys, which would be women with
make-up applied heavily working the streets. He says that they tell him the city is brutal,
crooked, and wicked
and that he believes them. The poem also translates into how living in the city is toilsome
and that the city is unrelenting. On the other hand it shows how the city can be
prosperous and happy with the citys disadvantages. in the second half of the poem its
telling how nomatter what is wrong with the city, the people are still proud of who they

The theme of “Chicago” is how life in the city really is. The Acadamy of American
Poets states that “Chicago is written so that the average working man can read it and
think about his surroundings rather than to become a robot from the repetitious stress
consuming him” The Carl Sandburg page says that, Oliver Wendle Holmes, a skilled
rhymester, told a young poet: “When you write in prose you say what you mean, when
you write in verse you say what you must” . In “Chicago” as well as all of Sandburgs
literature he writes what he has to write because he was once one of the workers and he
realizes their needs of having something different in their everyday lives. In “The People,
Yes” Lewis Gannett states that Sandburg is “The voice of America as no other American
poem since Walt Whitman”.

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The poem “Chicago” relates directly to Carl Sandburgs personal life. He has been
in the spot in which many of the people at that time were in, so he can understand how,
why, and what the average city man is thinking. By using this perception he is able to
enter their minds through his simple Free Verse. He does this because he realizes what he
needed at that time in his life so he is obviously trying to give people something to ponder.

Carl Sandburg was a man of many values. He understood America as it was and
as it still is. The poem “Chicago” puts things into perspective for its readers. Through
reading “Chicago” observations of many aspects of Sandburgs life can be made such as;
he lived at a lower to middle class for the majority of his life, excluding his younger years.
He looks down upon society wishing there were more of himself to help the others cope
with the pressure that has been applied by the thumb of America.

“Chicago” is the typical use of Carl Sandburgs Free Verse. This is because of the
simple use of words and punctuation. It allows for any person to read and comprehend
what he must say. It is shown in the poem “The Grass” he illustrates how grass is like
war, it is everywhere and no matter where it is it doent change it will still be war. The
tone of “The Grass” is written in Free Verse. It not only allows you to apply the the
entirity of war but allows you to observe that no matter where it is it is the same. This
poem also shows part of Sandburgs life. As he worked as a teen he did it for the sole
purpose of providing for his family. No matter where he worked it was still for the same
reason to provide.

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