Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.

Kalamazoo

Vachel Lindsay 1879 (Springfield) – 1931 (Springfield)

Once, in the city of Kalamazoo,
The gods went walking, two and two,
With the friendly phoenix, the stars of Orion,
The speaking pony and singing lion.
For in Kalamazoo in a cottage apart
Lived the girl with the innocent heart.

Thenceforth the city of Kalamazoo
Was the envied, intimate chum of the sun.
He rose from a cave by the principal street.
The lions sang, the dawn?horns blew,
And the ponies danced on silver feet.
He hurled his clouds of love around;
Deathless colors of his old heart
Draped the houses and dyed the ground.
O shrine of the wide young Yankee land,
Incense city of Kalamazoo,
That held, in the midnight, the priceless sun
As a jeweller holds an opal in hand!

From the awkward city of Oshkosh came
Love the bully no whip shall tame,
Bringing his gang of sinners bold.
And I was the least of his Oshkosh men;
But none were reticent, none were old.
And we joined the singing phoenix then,
And shook the lilies of Kalamazoo
All for one hidden butterfly.
Bulls of glory, in cars of war
We charged the boulevards, proud to die
For her ribbon sailing there on high.
Our blood set gutters all aflame,
Where the sun slept without any heat—
Cold rock till he must rise again.
She made great poets of wolf-eyed men—
The dear queen-bee of Kalamazoo,
With her crystal wings, and her honey heart.
We fought for her favors a year and a day
(Oh, the bones of the dead, the Oshkosh dead,
That were scattered along her pathway red!)
And then, in her harum?scarum way,
She left with a passing traveller-man—
With a singing Irishman
Went to Japan.

Why do the lean hyenas glare
'Where the glory of Artemis had begun—
Of Atalanta, Joan of Arc,
Cinderella, Becky Thatcher,
And Orphant Annie, all in one?
Who burned this city of Kalamazoo
Till nothing was left but a ribbon or two—
One scorched phoenix that mourned in the dew,
Acres of ashes, a junk-man's cart,
A torn-up letter, a dancing shoe,
And the bones of the dead, the dead) ?
Who burned this city of Kalamazoo—
Love-town, Troy-town Kalamazoo?

A harum-scarum innocent heart.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
Font size:
Collection  Edit     
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:52 min read
242 Views

Vachel Lindsay

Nicholas Vachel Lindsay was an American poet. more…

All Vachel Lindsay poems | Vachel Lindsay Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Vachel Lindsay poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "Kalamazoo" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/37304/kalamazoo>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    What is the term for the continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.
    • A. Dithyramb
    • B. A turn
    • C. Line break
    • D. Enjambment

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »