Chicago 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 city's disadvantages. in the second half of the poem it's telling how no matter what is wrong with the city, the people are still proud of who the yare. The theme of 'Chicago' is how life in the city really is. The Academy 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 Wend le 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 Sandburg's 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'. The poem 'Chicago' relates directly to Carl Sandburg's 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 it's readers. Through reading 'Chicago' observations of many aspects of Sandburg's 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 Sandburg's 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 don't change it will still be war. The tone of 'The Grass' is written in Free Verse.
It not only allows you to apply the of war but allows you to observe that no matter where it is it is the same. This poem also shows part of Sandburg's 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.