Poetry of Kansas


O, I have walked in Kansas
Through many a harvest field
And piled the sheaves of glory there
And down the wild rows reeled;
Each sheaf a little yellow sun,
A heap of hot-rayed gold;
Each binder like Creation's hand
To mold suns, as of old.
Straight overhead the orb of noon
Beat down with brimstone breath;
The desert wind from south and west
Was blistering flame and death.
Yet it was gay in Kansas,
A-fighting that strong sun;
And I and many a fellow-tramp
Defied that wind and won.
And we felt free in Kansas
From any sort of fear,
For thirty thousand tramps like us
There harvest every year.
She stretches arms for them to come,
She roars for helpers then,
And so it is in Kansas
That tramps, one month, are men.
We sang in burning Kansas
The songs of Sabbath-school,
The "Day-Star" flashing in the East,
The "Vale of Eden" cool.
We sang in splendid Kansas
"The flag that set us free" --
That march of fifty thousand men
With Sherman to the sea.
We feasted high in Kansas
And had much milk and meat.
The tables groaned to give us power
Wherewith to save the wheat.
Our beds were sweet alfalfa hay
Within the barn-loft wide.
The loft doors opened out upon
The endless wheat-field tide.
I loved to watch the windmills spin
And watch that big moon rise.
I dreamed and dreamed with lids half-shut,
The moonlight in my eyes.
For all men dream in Kansas,
By noonday and by night,
By sunrise yellow, red and wild,
And moonrise wild and white.
The wind would drive the glittering clouds,
The cottonwoods would croon,
And past the sheaves and through the leaves
Came whispers from the moon.

__Vachel Lindsey.

Kansas:   Poetry   History   Towns   Counties   Colleges   Libraries   Museums

September 25, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

Blue Skyways Kansas on the Net   Visit the Home Page for Kansas
  A service of the Kansas State Library