The Windy City 10

Carl Sandburg

A man came as a witness saying:
"I listened to the Great Lakes
And I listened to the Grand Prairie,
And they had little to say to each other,
A whisper or so in a thousand years.
"Some of the cities are big," said one.
"And some not so big," said another,
"And sometimes the cities are all gone,"
Said a black knob bluff to a light green sea."

Winds of the Windy City, come out of the prairie,
all the way from Medicine Hat.
Come out of the inland sea blue water, come where
they nickname a city for you.

Corn wind in the fall, come off the black lands,
come off the whisper of the silk hangers,
the lap of the flat spear leaves.

Blue water wind in summer, come off the blue miles
of lake, carry your inland sea blue fingers,
carry us cool, carry your blue to our homes.

White spring winds, come off the bag wool clouds,
come off the running melted snow, come white
as the arms of snow-born children.

Gray fighting winter winds, come along on the tear-
ing blizzard tails, the snouts of the hungry
hunting storms, come fighting gray in winter.

Winds of the Windy City,
Winds of corn and sea blue,
Spring wind white and fighting winter gray,
Come home here — they nickname a city for you.

The wind of the lake shore waits and wanders.
The heave of the shore wind hunches the sand piles.
The winkers of the morning stars count out cities
And forget the numbers.

This is the final part of the long, 10-section poem, The Windy City, which appears in Sandburg's marvellous book of poems, Slabs of the Sunburnt West.

Poetry Atlas has many poems about Chicago.