“Chicago” by Carl Sandburg
brawling – fighting noisily
Questions and Answers
1. Who or what is the speaker addressing in this poem?
The speaker is addressing the city of Chicago.
2. How does the speaker handle complaints about the city?
The speaker acknowledges that the complaints are valid, then goes on to counter them by powerfully singing the city’s praises. The city’s problems do not, according to the speaker, cancel out the city’s charms.
3. Comment briefly on the form of this poem.
Answers will vary. Example: The form is not quite that of a prose poem; although some parts clearly resemble prose. A number of short, set-off lines make it difficult to fit the poem neatly into any one formal category.
4. Earlier in the anthology, we encountered a poet whose long, sweeping lines and celebratory tone clearly seem to have influenced Sandburg. Name the poet.
The poet is Walt Whitman.