Vachel Lindsay

Listen to the mockingbird with Stoddard and other noble kings
Act the "Mikado," "Pinafore;" sing in the Lindbergh classic themes; Read Ben Johnson; sing "Ben Bolt."
Listen when the church bell rings. Read St. Paul, Ezekiel. Fly like Ezekial's beast with wings.
Listen when tornadoes laugh and Lear's frail jester kneels and sings.
Then listen to the groans of men, and write your poem if you can.

For style and vogue and deathless mode, get Herrick's "Julia" perfectly.
For suppleness and sharpeyed wit, read the light rhymes of Thackeray, for which more kings and press rooms guess.
Read all the columns merrily: columns of hot wit, lightning play magnates are missing every day.
Listen while syndicated crimes stake rag for prosperity.
Listen while the radio squalls the rat kind of flattery; then walk your soul with Walden pond, with Thoreau and philosophy; with Bret Harte at the Golden Gate; meet the slick 49 Chinese; then hunt the Jabberwockey Snark. Get Mother Goose most perfectly; with Alice through the looking glass; brush up on relativity.
Then listen when your babies shout; spying them out on bumble bee. Then praise the berries, curse the weeds, and sail with Masefield through the,seas.
Then Listen to the Sangamon; and Oak Ridge mourning musically.
Then listen to the groans of man, and write your poem if you can.

Think of Walden.
Think of Thor.
Think of bold Ericson, cutting westward through the ice to find the Rhineland's benizen
Think of the Northwest states today, ruled by Hans Christen Anderson.
Think of Columbus, sans trails, and Sante Fe so Mexican.
Then Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, and Lewis and Clark and Jefferson. Then Sandberg, Lindberg, Admiral Byrd, Edward Markham, Edison. Laugh at all these pioneers who keep our hopes so bright with fun. Like long white-covered wagon trains, like long lines to the setting sun, roll your rhymes, slow wagonwheels, cross the planes to Oregon. While California's sea shells gleam hold to your ear the singing one.
Then listen to the groans of man, and write your poem if you can.

O humanists, unmetrical, snarled with classics and their crime. You cannot prose like Henry James' poetry and make it chime.
Listen while the flat-wheeled car, the pullman master-piece, keeps time -clickety-thump thumity -click: The plan of less insistent rhyme.
Go to a Punch and Judy show. Now there you find the classic mind. Then listen while the Talkie Queen howls like some dark witch in the slime.
In the Grand Central depot sit for hours, and note the grudging rhyme. Then buy a movie magazine. Then at a dime store spend a dime. Doctor your democratic soul with new devices, dry as a lime. At some slick thick amusement park, watch well the innocence and crime.

Listen to the State House halls -- hyenas laughing overtime.
Go down a mine; watch them dig; watch the mine elevators climb, giving birth to steel and coke, Pittsburgh and its groans sublime.
Go to the county hospital. Join the doctor's silent clan. Hear woman giving birth to man, and write your poem if you can.

Listen when your dear love reads Emily Dickenson, saint of dreams.
Listen when real patriots vie. The eagle genuinely screams.
Listen when young poets come, whispering high school bards in streams. Armies of little Homers gone, defeated by the taxi Kings.
Listen when the great rains talk, shaking some old log cabin's beams.
Listen to one.
Listen to all. For rhymes and far millenial things.
Sit on a mountain top alone, under the skywind's flurry and foam.
Remembering still the groans of man , Write the song American,
Write your poem , if you can. © all rights reserved
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