Vachel Lindsay - Beginnings As A Poet

Beginnings As A Poet

While in New York in 1905 Lindsay turned to poetry in earnest. He tried to sell his poems on the streets. Self-printing his poems, he began to barter a pamphlet titled "Rhymes To Be Traded For Bread", which he traded for food as a self-perceived modern version of a medieval troubadour.

From March to May, 1906, Lindsay traveled roughly 600 miles on foot from Jacksonville, Florida to Kentucky, again trading his poetry for food and lodging. From April to May, 1908, Lindsay undertook another poetry-selling trek, walking from New York City to Hiram, Ohio.

From May to September 1912 he traveled — again on foot — from Illinois to New Mexico, trading his poems for food and lodging. During this last trek, Lindsay composed his most famous poem, "The Congo". Going through Kansas, he was supposedly so successful that "he had to send money home to keep his pockets empty". On his return, Harriet Monroe published in Poetry magazine first his poem "General William Booth Enters into Heaven" in 1913 and then "The Congo" in 1914. At this point, Lindsay became very well known.

Read more about this topic:  Vachel Lindsay

Famous quotes containing the words beginnings and/or poet:

    [Many artists], even the greatest ones, are not sure of their own existence. So they search for proof, they judge, they condemn. It strengthens them, it is the beginnings of existence. They are alone!
    Albert Camus (1913–1960)

    But though Heaven made him poor, with reverence speaking,
    He never was a poet of God’s making;
    The midwife laid her hand on his thick skull,
    With this prophetic blessing—Be thou dull;
    John Dryden (1631–1700)