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The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems by Vachel Lindsay

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Each chose a far-off planet for his home,
Speaking of love and mercy, truth and right,
Envied and cursed, thorn-crowned and scourged in time,
Each tasted death on his appointed night.

Then resurrection day from sphere to sphere
Sped on, with all the POWERS arisen again,
While with them came in clouds recruited hosts
Of sun-born strangers and of earth-born men.

And on that day gray prophet saints went down
And poured atoning blood upon the deep,
Till every warrior of old Hell flew free
And all the torture fires were laid asleep.

And Hell's lost company I saw return
Clear-eyed, with plumes of white, the demons bold
Climbed with the angels now on Jacob's stair,
And built a better Zion than the old.

. . . . .

And yet I walked alone on azure cliffs
A lifetime long, and loved each untrimmed vine:
The rotted harps, the swords of rusted gold,
The jungles of all Heaven then were mine.

Oh mesas and throne-mountains that I found!
Oh strange and shaking thoughts that touched me there,
Ere I beheld the bright returning wings
That came to spoil my secret, silent lair!

Fifth Section
The Poem Games

An Account of the Poem Games

In the summer of 1916 in the parlor of Mrs. William Vaughn Moody;
and in the following winter in the Chicago Little Theatre,
under the auspices of Poetry, A Magazine of Verse; and in Mandel Hall,
the University of Chicago, under the auspices of the Senior Class, --
these Poem Games were presented. Miss Eleanor Dougherty
was the dancer throughout. The entire undertaking developed
through the generous cooperation and advice of Mrs. William Vaughn Moody.
The writer is exceedingly grateful to Mrs. Moody and all concerned
for making place for the idea. Now comes the test of its vitality.
Can it go on in the absence of its initiators?

Mr. Lewellyn Jones, of the Chicago Evening Post, announced the affair
as a "rhythmic picnic". Mr. Maurice Browne of the Chicago Little Theatre
said Miss Dougherty was at the beginning of the old Greek Tragic Dance.
Somewhere between lies the accomplishment.

In the Congo volume, as is indicated in the margins,
the meaning of a few of the verses is aided by chanting.
In the Poem Games the English word is still first in importance,
the dancer comes second, the chanter third. The marginal directions
of King Solomon indicate the spirit in which all the pantomime was developed.
Miss Dougherty designed her own costumes, and worked out
her own stage business for King Solomon, The Potatoes' Dance,
The King of Yellow Butterflies and Aladdin and the Jinn (The Congo, page 140).
In the last, "`I am your slave,' said the Jinn" was repeated four times
at the end of each stanza.

The Poem Game idea was first indorsed in the Wellesley kindergarten,
by the children. They improvised pantomime and dance for the Potatoes' Dance,
while the writer chanted it, and while Professor Hamilton C. Macdougall
of the Wellesley musical department followed on the piano
the outline of the jingle. Later Professor Macdougall very kindly wrote down
his piano rendition. A study of this transcript helps to confirm the idea
that when the cadences of a bit of verse are a little exaggerated,
they are tunes, yet of a truth they are tunes which can be
but vaguely recorded by notation or expressed by an instrument.
The author of this book is now against instrumental music
in this type of work. It blurs the English.

Professor Macdougall has in various conversations helped the author
toward a Poem Game theory. He agrees that neither the dancing
nor the chanting nor any other thing should be allowed to run away
with the original intention of the words. The chanting should not be carried
to the point where it seeks to rival conventional musical composition.
The dancer should be subordinated to the natural rhythms of English speech,
and not attempt to incorporate bodily all the precedents
of professional dancing.

Speaking generally, poetic ideas can be conveyed word by word,
faster than musical feeling. The repetitions in the Poem Games
are to keep the singing, the dancing and the ideas at one pace.
The repetitions may be varied according to the necessities
of the individual dancer. Dancing is slower than poetry and faster than music
in developing the same thoughts. In folk dances and vaudeville,
the verse, music, and dancing are on so simple a basis the time elements
can be easily combined. Likewise the rhythms and the other elements.

Miss Dougherty is particularly illustrative in her pantomime,
but there were many verses she looked over and rejected
because they could not be rendered without blurring the original intent.
Possibly every poem in the world has its dancer somewhere waiting,
who can dance but that one poem. Certainly those poems would be
most successful in games, where the tone color is so close to the meaning
that any exaggeration of that color by dancing and chanting
only makes the story clearer. The writer would like to see some one try
Dryden's Alexander's Feast, or Swinburne's Atalanta in Calydon.
Certainly in those poems the decorative rhythm and the meaning
are absolutely one.

With no dancing evolutions, the author of this book
has chanted John Brown and King Solomon for the last two years
for many audiences. It took but a minute to teach the people the responses.
As a rule they had no advance notice they were going to sing.
The versifier sang the parts of the King and Queen in turn,
and found each audience perfectly willing to be the oxen, the sweethearts,
the swans, the sons, the shepherds, etc.

A year ago the writer had the honor of chanting for
the Florence Fleming Noyes school of dancers. In one short evening
they made the first section of the Congo into an incantation,
the King Solomon into an extraordinarily graceful series of tableaus,
and the Potatoes' Dance into a veritable whirlwind.
Later came the more elaborately prepared Chicago experiment.

In the King of Yellow Butterflies and the Potatoes' Dance
Miss Dougherty occupied the entire eye of the audience and interpreted,
while the versifier chanted the poems as a semi-invisible orchestra,
by the side of the curtain. For Aladdin and for King Solomon
Miss Dougherty and the writer divided the stage between them,
but the author was little more than the orchestra. The main intention
was carried out, which was to combine the work of the dancer
with the words of the production and the responses of the audience.

The present rhymer has no ambitions as a stage manager.
The Poem Game idea, in its rhythmic picnic stage, is recommended to amateurs,
its further development to be on their own initiative.
Informal parties might divide into groups of dancers and groups of chanters.
The whole might be worked out in the spirit in which
children play King William was King James' Son, London Bridge,
or As We Go Round the Mulberry Bush. And the author of this book
would certainly welcome the tragic dance, if Miss Dougherty
will gather a company about her and go forward, using any acceptable poems,
new or old. Swinburne's Atalanta in Calydon is perhaps
the most literal and rhythmic example of the idea we have in English,
though it may not be available when tried out.

The main revolution necessary for dancing improvisers,
who would go a longer way with the Poem Game idea,
is to shake off the Isadora Duncan and the Russian precedents for a while,
and abolish the orchestra and piano, replacing all these
with the natural meaning and cadences of English speech.
The work would come closer to acting, than dancing is now conceived.

The King of Yellow Butterflies

(A Poem Game.)

The King of Yellow Butterflies,
The King of Yellow Butterflies,
The King of Yellow Butterflies,
Now orders forth his men.
He says "The time is almost here
When violets bloom again."
Adown the road the fickle rout
Goes flashing proud and bold,
Adown the road the fickle rout
Goes flashing proud and bold,
Adown the road the fickle rout
Goes flashing proud and bold,
They shiver by the shallow pools,
They shiver by the shallow pools,
They shiver by the shallow pools,
And whimper of the cold.
They drink and drink. A frail pretense!
They love to pose and preen.
Each pool is but a looking glass,
Where their sweet wings are seen.
Each pool is but a looking glass,
Where their sweet wings are seen.
Each pool is but a looking glass,
Where their sweet wings are seen.
Gentlemen adventurers! Gypsies every whit!
They live on what they steal. Their wings
By briars are frayed a bit.
Their loves are light. They have no house.
And if it rains today,
They'll climb into your cattle-shed,
They'll climb into your cattle-shed,
They'll climb into your cattle-shed,
And hide them in the hay,
And hide them in the hay,
And hide them in the hay,
And hide them in the hay.

The Potatoes' Dance

(A Poem Game.)

I

"Down cellar," said the cricket,
"Down cellar," said the cricket,
"Down cellar," said the cricket,
"I saw a ball last night,
In honor of a lady,
In honor of a lady,
In honor of a lady,
Whose wings were pearly-white.
The breath of bitter weather,
The breath of bitter weather,
The breath of bitter weather,
Had smashed the cellar pane.
We entertained a drift of leaves,
We entertained a drift of leaves,
We entertained a drift of leaves,
And then of snow and rain.
But we were dressed for winter,
But we were dressed for winter,
But we were dressed for winter,
And loved to hear it blow
In honor of the lady,
In honor of the lady,
In honor of the lady,
Who makes potatoes grow,
Our guest the Irish lady,
The tiny Irish lady,
The airy Irish lady,
Who makes potatoes grow.

II

"Potatoes were the waiters,
Potatoes were the waiters,
Potatoes were the waiters,
Potatoes were the band,
Potatoes were the dancers
Kicking up the sand,
Kicking up the sand,
Kicking up the sand,
Potatoes were the dancers
Kicking up the sand.
Their legs were old burnt matches,
Their legs were old burnt matches,
Their legs were old burnt matches,
Their arms were just the same.
They jigged and whirled and scrambled,
Jigged and whirled and scrambled,
Jigged and whirled and scrambled,
In honor of the dame,
The noble Irish lady
Who makes potatoes dance,
The witty Irish lady,
The saucy Irish lady,
The laughing Irish lady
Who makes potatoes prance.

III

"There was just one sweet potato.
He was golden brown and slim.
The lady loved his dancing,
The lady loved his dancing,
The lady loved his dancing,
She danced all night with him,
She danced all night with him.
Alas, he wasn't Irish.
So when she flew away,
They threw him in the coal-bin,
And there he is today,
Where they cannot hear his sighs
And his weeping for the lady,
The glorious Irish lady,
The beauteous Irish lady,
Who
Gives
Potatoes
Eyes."

The Booker Washington Trilogy

A Memorial to Booker T. Washington

I. Simon Legree

A Negro Sermon. (To be read in your own variety of negro dialect.)

Legree's big house was white and green.
His cotton-fields were the best to be seen.
He had strong horses and opulent cattle,
And bloodhounds bold, with chains that would rattle.
His garret was full of curious things:
Books of magic, bags of gold,
And rabbits' feet on long twine strings.
BUT HE WENT DOWN TO THE DEVIL.

Legree he sported a brass-buttoned coat,
A snake-skin necktie, a blood-red shirt.
Legree he had a beard like a goat,
And a thick hairy neck, and eyes like dirt.
His puffed-out cheeks were fish-belly white,
He had great long teeth, and an appetite.
He ate raw meat, 'most every meal,
And rolled his eyes till the cat would squeal.
His fist was an enormous size
To mash poor niggers that told him lies:
He was surely a witch-man in disguise.
BUT HE WENT DOWN TO THE DEVIL.

He wore hip-boots, and would wade all day
To capture his slaves that had fled away.
BUT HE WENT DOWN TO THE DEVIL.

He beat poor Uncle Tom to death
Who prayed for Legree with his last breath.
Then Uncle Tom to Eva flew,
To the high sanctoriums bright and new;
And Simon Legree stared up beneath,
And cracked his heels, and ground his teeth:
AND WENT DOWN TO THE DEVIL.

He crossed the yard in the storm and gloom;
He went into his grand front room.
He said, "I killed him, and I don't care."
He kicked a hound, he gave a swear;
He tightened his belt, he took a lamp,
Went down cellar to the webs and damp.
There in the middle of the mouldy floor
He heaved up a slab, he found a door --
AND WENT DOWN TO THE DEVIL.

His lamp blew out, but his eyes burned bright.
Simon Legree stepped down all night --
DOWN, DOWN TO THE DEVIL.
Simon Legree he reached the place,
He saw one half of the human race,
He saw the Devil on a wide green throne,
Gnawing the meat from a big ham-bone,
And he said to Mister Devil:

"I see that you have much to eat --
A red ham-bone is surely sweet.
I see that you have lion's feet;
I see your frame is fat and fine,
I see you drink your poison wine --
Blood and burning turpentine."

And the Devil said to Simon Legree:
"I like your style, so wicked and free.
Come sit and share my throne with me,
And let us bark and revel."
And there they sit and gnash their teeth,
And each one wears a hop-vine wreath.
They are matching pennies and shooting craps,
They are playing poker and taking naps.
And old Legree is fat and fine:
He eats the fire, he drinks the wine --
Blood and burning turpentine --
DOWN, DOWN WITH THE DEVIL;
DOWN, DOWN WITH THE DEVIL;
DOWN, DOWN WITH THE DEVIL.

II. John Brown

(To be sung by a leader and chorus, the leader singing the body of the poem,
while the chorus interrupts with the question.)

I've been to Palestine.
WHAT DID YOU SEE IN PALESTINE?
I saw the ark of Noah --
It was made of pitch and pine.
I saw old Father Noah
Asleep beneath his vine.
I saw Shem, Ham and Japhet
Standing in a line.
I saw the tower of Babel
In the gorgeous sunrise shine --
By a weeping willow tree
Beside the Dead Sea.

I've been to Palestine.
WHAT DID YOU SEE IN PALESTINE?
I saw abominations
And Gadarene swine.
I saw the sinful Canaanites
Upon the shewbread dine,
And spoil the temple vessels
And drink the temple wine.
I saw Lot's wife, a pillar of salt
Standing in the brine --
By a weeping willow tree
Beside the Dead Sea.

I've been to Palestine.
WHAT DID YOU SEE IN PALESTINE?
Cedars on Mount Lebanon,
Gold in Ophir's mine,
And a wicked generation
Seeking for a sign
And Baal's howling worshippers
Their god with leaves entwine.
And . . .
I saw the war-horse ramping
And shake his forelock fine --
By a weeping willow tree
Beside the Dead Sea.

I've been to Palestine.
WHAT DID YOU SEE IN PALESTINE?
Old John Brown.
Old John Brown.
I saw his gracious wife
Dressed in a homespun gown.
I saw his seven sons
Before his feet bow down.
And he marched with his seven sons,
His wagons and goods and guns,
To his campfire by the sea,
By the waves of Galilee.

I've been to Palestine.
WHAT DID YOU SEE IN PALESTINE?
I saw the harp and psalt'ry
Played for Old John Brown.
I heard the ram's horn blow,
Blow for Old John Brown.
I saw the Bulls of Bashan --
They cheered for Old John Brown.
I saw the big Behemoth --
He cheered for Old John Brown.
I saw the big Leviathan --
He cheered for Old John Brown.
I saw the Angel Gabriel
Great power to him assign.
I saw him fight the Canaanites
And set God's Israel free.
I saw him when the war was done
In his rustic chair recline --
By his campfire by the sea,
By the waves of Galilee.

I've been to Palestine.
WHAT DID YOU SEE IN PALESTINE?
Old John Brown.
Old John Brown.
And there he sits
To judge the world.
His hunting-dogs
At his feet are curled.
His eyes half-closed,
But John Brown sees
The ends of the earth,
The Day of Doom.
And his shot-gun lies
Across his knees --
Old John Brown,
Old John Brown.

III. King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

(A Poem Game.)

"And when the Queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, . . .
she came to prove him with hard questions."

and approaching a position that gives her half of the stage.>

Men's Leader: The Queen of Sheba came to see King Solomon.

I was King Solomon,
I was King Solomon,
I was King Solomon.


Women's Leader: I was the Queen,
I was the Queen,
I was the Queen.

Both Leaders: We will be king and queen,

Reigning on mountains green,
Happy and free
For ten thousand years.


Both Leaders: King Solomon he had four hundred oxen.

Congregation: We were the oxen.


Both Leaders: You shall feel goads no more.

Walk dreadful roads no more,
Free from your loads
For ten thousand years.


Both Leaders: King Solomon he had four hundred sweethearts.


Congregation: We were the sweethearts.


Both Leaders: You shall dance round again,
You shall dance round again,
Cymbals shall sound again,
Cymbals shall sound again,

Wildflowers be found
For ten thousand years,
Wildflowers be found
For ten thousand years.

He goes forward to the footlights.>
Both Leaders: And every sweetheart had four hundred swans.

Congregation: We were the swans.


Both Leaders: You shall spread wings again,
You shall spread wings again,

Fly in soft rings again,
Fly in soft rings again,
Swim by cool springs
For ten thousand years,
Swim by cool springs,
For ten thousand years.

whenever it is needed to enable the women's leader to get to
her starting point. All the refrains may be likewise used.>
Men's Leader: King Solomon,
King Solomon.

Women's Leader: The Queen of Sheba asked him like a lady,
indicating a great rose garden.>
Bowing most politely:
"What makes the roses bloom
Over the mossy tomb,
Driving away the gloom
Ten thousand years?"

Men's Leader: King Solomon made answer to the lady,
The King wooing with ornate gestures of respect, and courtly animation.>
Bowing most politely:
"They bloom forever thinking of your beauty,
Your step so queenly and your eyes so lovely.
These keep the roses fair,
Young and without a care,
Making so sweet the air,
Ten thousand years."


Both Leaders: King Solomon he had four hundred sons.


Congregation: We were the sons.


Both Leaders: Crowned by the throngs again,

You shall make songs again,
Singing along
For ten thousand years.


Both Leaders: He gave each son four hundred prancing ponies.

Congregation: We were the ponies.


Both Leaders: You shall eat hay again,

In forests play again,
Rampage and neigh
For ten thousand years.

Men's Leader: King Solomon he asked the Queen of Sheba,
each one commands half of the stage.>
Bowing most politely:
"What makes the oak-tree grow
Hardy in sun and snow,
Never by wind brought low
Ten thousand years?"

Women's Leader: The Queen of Sheba answered like a lady,

Bowing most politely:
"It blooms forever thinking of your wisdom,
Your brave heart and the way you rule your kingdom.
These keep the oak secure,
Weaving its leafy lure,
Dreaming by fountains pure
Ten thousand years."


Both Leaders: The Queen of Sheba had four hundred sailors.


Congregation: We were the sailors.

Both Leaders: You shall bring spice and ore
indicating the entire horizon line.>
Over the ocean's floor,
Shipmates once more,
For ten thousand years.

Women's Leader: The Queen of Sheba asked him like a lady,

Bowing most politely:
"Why is the sea so deep,
What secret does it keep
While tides a-roaring leap
Ten thousand years?"

Men's Leader: King Solomon made answer to the lady,
but taking cognizance, the King wooing with ornate gestures
of respect and courtly admiration.>
Bowing most politely:
"My love for you is like the stormy ocean --
Too deep to understand,
Bending to your command,
Bringing your ships to land
Ten thousand years."
King Solomon,
King Solomon.


Both Leaders: King Solomon he had four hundred chieftains.

Congregation: We were the chieftains.


Both Leaders: You shall be proud again,

Dazzle the crowd again,
Laughing aloud
For ten thousand years.

much more solemn, elevated, religious.>


Both Leaders: King Solomon he had four hundred shepherds.


Congregation: We were the shepherds.

with torches held high.>
Both Leaders: You shall have torches bright,
Watching the folds by night,
Guarding the lambs aright,
Ten thousand years.

Men's Leader: King Solomon he asked the Queen of Sheba,

Bowing most politely:
"Why are the stars so high,
There in the velvet sky,
Rolling in rivers by,
Ten thousand years?"

Women's Leader: The Queen of Sheba answered like a lady,
and gives the same gesture as she answers.>
Bowing most politely:
"They're singing of your kingdom to the angels,
They guide your chariot with their lamps and candles,
Therefore they burn so far --
So you can drive your car
Up where the prophets are,
Ten thousand years."

Men's Leader: King Solomon,
King Solomon.

Both Leaders: King Solomon he kept the Sabbath holy.

And spoke with tongues in prophet words so mighty

We stamped and whirled and wept and shouted: --

Congregation Rises and Joins the Song:
. . . . "Glory."
We were his people.

gravely, magnificently.>
Both Leaders: You shall be wild and gay,
Green trees shall deck your way,

Sunday be every day,
Ten thousand years.

maintaining a certain intention of benediction.>
King Solomon,
King Solomon.

How Samson Bore Away the Gates of Gaza

(A Negro Sermon.)

Once, in a night as black as ink,
She drove him out when he would not drink.
Round the house there were men in wait
Asleep in rows by the Gaza gate.
But the Holy Spirit was in this man.
Like a gentle wind he crept and ran.
("It is midnight," said the big town clock.)

He lifted the gates up, post and lock.
The hole in the wall was high and wide
When he bore away old Gaza's pride
Into the deep of the night: --
The bold Jack Johnson Israelite, --
Samson --
The Judge,
The Nazarite.

The air was black, like the smoke of a dragon.
Samson's heart was as big as a wagon.
He sang like a shining golden fountain.
He sweated up to the top of the mountain.
He threw down the gates with a noise like judgment.
And the quails all ran with the big arousement.

But he wept -- "I must not love tough queens,
And spend on them my hard earned means.
I told that girl I would drink no more.
Therefore she drove me from her door.
Oh sorrow!
Sorrow!
I cannot hide.
Oh Lord look down from your chariot side.
You made me Judge, and I am not wise.
I am weak as a sheep for all my size."

Let Samson
Be coming
Into your mind.

The moon shone out, the stars were gay.
He saw the foxes run and play.
He rent his garments, he rolled around
In deep repentance on the ground.

Then he felt a honey in his soul.
Grace abounding made him whole.
Then he saw the Lord in a chariot blue.
The gorgeous stallions whinnied and flew.
The iron wheels hummed an old hymn-tune
And crunched in thunder over the moon.
And Samson shouted to the sky:
"My Lord, my Lord is riding high."

Like a steed, he pawed the gates with his hoof.
He rattled the gates like rocks on the roof,
And danced in the night
On the mountain-top,
Danced in the deep of the night:
The Judge, the holy Nazarite,
Whom ropes and chains could never bind.

Let Samson
Be coming
Into your mind.

Whirling his arms, like a top he sped.
His long black hair flew round his head
Like an outstretched net of silky cord,
Like a wheel of the chariot of the Lord.

Let Samson
Be coming
Into your mind.

Samson saw the sun anew.
He left the gates in the grass and dew.
He went to a county-seat a-nigh.
Found a harlot proud and high:
Philistine that no man could tame --
Delilah was her lady-name.
Oh sorrow,
Sorrow,
She was too wise.
She cut off his hair,
She put out his eyes.

Let Samson
Be coming
Into your mind.

----------------------------------------------
| The following pages contain advertisements |
| of other books by the same author |
| which appeared in the 1918 copy. |
----------------------------------------------

By the Same Author

A Handy Guide for Beggars
New Edition. Cloth, 12mo, $1.25

"The Handy Guide for Beggars" is an introduction to all Vachel Lindsay's work.
It gives his first adventures afoot. He walked through Florida, Georgia,
North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky, in the spring of 1906.
He walked through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and on to Hiram, Ohio,
in the spring of 1908. He carried on these trips his poems:
"The Tree of Laughing Bells", "The Heroes of Time", etc.
He recited them in exchange for food and lodging. He left copies
for those who appeared interested. The book is a record of these journeys,
and of many pleasing discoveries about American Democracy.

This book serves to introduce the next, "Adventures While Preaching
the Gospel of Beauty". In the spring and summer of 1912,
Mr. Lindsay walked from Springfield, Illinois, west to Colorado,
and into New Mexico. He was much more experienced in the road.
He carried "Rhymes to Be Traded for Bread", "The Village Improvement Parade",
etc. As is indicated in the title, he wrestled with a theory
of American aesthetics. "Christmas, 1915", the third book in the series,
appeared, applying the "Gospel of Beauty to the Photoplay".
The ideas of Art and Democracy that develop in the first two books
are used as the basic principles in "The Art of the Moving Picture".
Those who desire a close view of the Lindsay idea will do well
to read the three works in the order named. Further particulars
in the pages following.

The Congo and Other Poems
With a preface by Harriet Monroe, Editor of the `Poetry Magazine'.
Cloth, 12mo, $1.25; leather, $1.60

In the readings which Vachel Lindsay has given for colleges, universities,
etc., throughout the country, he has won the approbation of the critics
and of his audiences in general for the new verse-form which he is employing,
as well as the manner of his chanting and singing,
which is peculiarly his own. He carries in memory all the poems in his books,
and recites the program made out for him; the wonderful effect of sound
produced by his lines, their relation to the idea which the author seeks
to convey, and their marvelous lyrical quality are quite beyond the ordinary,
and suggest new possibilities and new meanings in poetry.
It is his main object to give his already established friends
a deeper sense of the musical intention of his pieces.

The book contains the much discussed "War Poem", "Abraham Lincoln Walks
at Midnight"; it contains among its familiar pieces: "The Santa Fe Trail",
"The Firemen's Ball", "The Dirge for a Righteous Kitten",
"The Griffin's Egg", "The Spice Tree", "Blanche Sweet", "Mary Pickford",
"The Soul of the City", etc.

Mr. Lindsay received the Levinson Prize for the best poem contributed
to `Poetry', a magazine of verse, (Chicago) for 1915.

"We do not know a young man of any more promise than Mr. Vachel Lindsay
for the task which he seems to have set himself." -- `The Dial'.

General William Booth Enters Into Heaven and Other Poems
Price, $1.25; leather, $1.60

This book contains among other verses: "On Reading Omar Khayyam
during an Anti-Saloon Campaign in Illinois"; "The Wizard Wind";
"The Eagle Forgotten", a Memorial to John P. Altgeld;
"The Knight in Disguise", a Memorial to O. Henry; "The Rose and the Lotus";
"Michaelangelo"; "Titian"; "What the Hyena Said"; "What Grandpa Mouse Said";
"A Net to Snare the Moonlight"; "Springfield Magical"; "The Proud Farmer";
"The Illinois Village"; "The Building of Springfield".

--------

Comments on the Title Poem:

"This poem, at once so glorious, so touching and poignant
in its conception and expression . . . is perhaps the most remarkable poem
of a decade -- one that defies imitation." -- `Review of Reviews'.

"A sweeping and penetrating vision that works with a naive charm. . . .
No American poet of to-day is more a people's poet." -- `Boston Transcript'.

"One could hardly overpraise `General Booth'." -- `New York Times'.

"Something new in verse, spontaneous, passionate, unmindful of conventions
in form and theme." -- `The Living Age'.

Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty
Price, $1.00

This is a series of happening afoot while reciting at back-doors in the west,
and includes some experiences while harvesting in Kansas.
It includes several proclamations which apply the Gospel of Beauty
to agricultural conditions. There are, among other rhymed interludes:
"The Shield of Faith", "The Flute of the Lonely", "The Rose of Midnight",
"Kansas", "The Kallyope Yell".

Something to Read

Vachel Lindsay took a walk from his home in Springfield, Ill.,
over the prairies to New Mexico. He was in Kansas in wheat-harvest time
and he worked as a farmhand, and he tells all about that.
He tells about his walks and the people he met in a little book,
"Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty".
For the conditions of his tramps were that he should keep away
from cities, money, baggage, and pay his way by reciting his own poems.
And he did it. People liked his pieces, and tramp farmhands
with rough necks and rougher hands left off singing smutty limericks
and took to "Atalanta in Calydon" apparently because they preferred it.
Of motor cars, which gave him a lift, he says: "I still maintain
that the auto is a carnal institution, to be shunned by the truly spiritual,
but there are times when I, for one, get tired of being spiritual."
His story of the "Five Little Children Eating Mush" (that was one night
in Colorado, and he recited to them while they ate supper) has more beauty
and tenderness and jolly tears than all the expensive sob stuff
theatrical managers ever dreamed of. Mr. Lindsay doesn't need to write verse
to be a poet. His prose is poetry -- poetry straight from the soil,
of America that is, and of a nobler America that is to be.
You cannot afford -- both for your entertainment and for the REAL IDEA
that this young man has (of which we have said nothing) -- to miss this book.
-- Editorial from `Collier's Weekly'.

The Art of the Moving Picture
Price, $1.25

An effort to apply the Gospel of Beauty to a new art.
The first section has an outline which is proposed as a basis
for photoplay criticism in America; chapters on: "The Photoplay of Action",
"The Intimate Photoplay", "The Picture of Fairy Splendor",
"The Picture of Crowd Splendor", "The Picture of Patriotic Splendor",
"The Picture of Religious Splendor", "Sculpture in Motion",
"Painting in Motion", "Furniture", "Trappings and Inventions in Motion",
"Architecture in Motion", "Thirty Differences between the Photoplays
and the Stage", "Hieroglyphics". The second section is avowedly
more discursive, being more personal speculations and afterthoughts,
not brought forward so dogmatically; chapters on: "The Orchestra Conversation
and the Censorship", "The Substitute for the Saloon",
"California and America", "Progress and Endowment",
"Architects as Crusaders", "On Coming Forth by Day",
"The Prophet Wizard", "The Acceptable Year of the Lord".

For Late Reviews of Mr. Lindsay and his contemporaries read:

`The New Republic': Articles by Randolph S. Bourne, December 5, 1914,
on the "Adventures While Preaching"; and Francis Hackett, December 25, 1915,
on "The Art of the Moving Picture".

`The Dial': Unsigned article by Lucien Carey, October 16, 1914,
on "The Congo", etc.

`The Yale Review': Article by H. M. Luquiens, July, 1916,
on "The Art of the Moving Picture".

General Articles on the Poetry Situation

`The Century Magazine': "America's Golden Age in Poetry", March, 1916.

`Harper's Monthly Magazine': "The Easy Chair", William Dean Howells,
September, 1915.

`The Craftsman': "Has America a National Poetry?" Amy Lowell, July, 1916.

[End of original text.]

Biographical Note:

Nicholas Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931):
(Vachel is pronounced Vay-chul, that is, it rhymes with `Rachel').

"The Eagle that is Forgotten" and "The Congo" are two of his best-known poems,
and appear in his first two volumes of verse, "General William Booth
Enters into Heaven" (1913) and "The Congo" (1914).

As a sidenote, he became close friends with the poet Sara Teasdale
and his third volume of verse, "The Chinese Nightingale" (1917),
is dedicated to her. In turn, she wrote a memorial verse for him
after he committed suicide in 1931.

----

From an anthology of verse by Jessie B. Rittenhouse (1913, 1917):

"Lindsay, Vachel. Born November 10, 1879. Educated at Hiram College, Ohio.
He took up the study of art and studied at the Art Institute, Chicago,
1900-03 and at the New York School of Art, 1904-05. For a time
after his technical study, he lectured upon art in its practical relation
to the community, and returning to his home in Springfield, Illinois,
issued what one might term his manifesto in the shape of
"The Village Magazine", divided about equally between prose articles,
pertaining to beautifying his native city, and poems,
illustrated by his own drawings. Soon after this, Mr. Lindsay,
taking as scrip for the journey, "Rhymes to be Traded for Bread",
made a pilgrimage on foot through several Western States
going as far afield as New Mexico. The story of this journey is given
in his volume, "Adventures while Preaching the Gospel of Beauty".
Mr. Lindsay first attracted attention in poetry by "General William Booth
Enters into Heaven", a poem which became the title of his first volume,
in 1913. His second volume was "The Congo", published in 1914.
He is attempting to restore to poetry its early appeal as a spoken art,
and his later work differs greatly from the selections contained
in this anthology."

In four instances, the original copy used accented spellings of words
which are now common in English without those accents. They are:

~
canons ==> canyons

"
cooperation ==> cooperation

^
fete ==> fete

"
reechoed ==> reechoed

End of this etext of The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems

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