A House in Chicago

A House in Chicago

A House in Chicago

A House in Chicago

Excerpt

There are certain springtimes when the natural world seems in an inexplicable hurry. Gardens burgeon incoherently, and the seasons become telescoped. Chronological spacing, ordinarily congenial both to man and nature, is defeated by a wild and lawless ecstasy of growth.

Something of the sort seems to have happened in the field of American letters in a period beginning about the year 1912. And though several of the more significant names in this interesting composite birth were, after all, those of easterners, still this is the moment when the Middle West entered into a new and exciting consciousness and when Chicago took its place as the center of momentous happenings. This city was already acknowledged to be a habitable spot for the fine arts in general. Poetry was now to feel especially at home there.

Just how all this came to happen the literary historian will no doubt determine. But it may meanwhile be pointed out that the silence of the middle western region had been broken by William Vaughn Moody, dead in 1910 with half his life unlived. Not that Moody was a "regional" poet. But he was a native of Indiana, had lived much in Chicago, taught at its university. He had created an audience. Who would there be to follow him?

By way of answer to this question an actual chorus began to be heard within a few years of his death. Those who did not live in the Chicago region appeared in the pages of Chicago's magazine, Poetry , and many of them came to the newly awakened city, returning again and again. From all quarters of the country they came, as well as from across the seas. And the lives of such men as Robinson and Lindsay, as well as of John Masefield and . . .

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