‘Springfield Magical’ (Vachel Lindsay)

“City of my discontent” summarizes in a phrase Vachel Lindsay‘s conflicted relationship with his home town. The poem that includes that line, “Springfield Magical,” was contained in Lindsay’s collection “General William Booth Enters into Heaven, and other poems,” 1919.

In this, the City of my Discontent,
Sometimes there comes a whisper from the grass,
“Romance, Romance — is here. No Hindu town
Is quite so strange. No Citadel of Brass
By Sinbad found, held half such love and hate;
No picture-palace in a picture-book
Such webs of Friendship, Beauty, Greed and Fate!”

In this, the City of my Discontent,
Down from the sky, up from the smoking deep
Wild legends new and old burn round my bed
While trees and grass and men are wrapped in sleep.
Angels come down, with Christmas in their hearts,
Gentle, whimsical, laughing, heaven-sent;
And, for a day, fair Peace have given me
In this, the City of my Discontent!

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