What are the best and worst aspects of Chicago as presented in the poem "Chicago"?

1 Answer | Add Yours

stolperia's profile pic

stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Sandburg paints the city with very broad strokes in his poem "Chicago." He's not interested in small, specific details; he's looking at the big picture, and he's finding it filled with activity, filled with people deeply involved in living life to its fullest.

Sandburg admits to a number of problems that are present in the city. He recognizes the presence of prostitution, of gang warfare, of poverty. He acknowledges that there is pollution and noise and greed and exploitation in the midst of all the activity and all the bustle of the city.

In spite of it all, however, Sandburg is proud of the city and is proud of his association with it. He sees the rough edges and challenges as points of pride, demonstrations of the determination to rise above the bad and accomplish the job waiting to be done.

Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
     so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
     job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
     little soft cities

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,915 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question