Hungry for music with a desperate hunger I prowled abroad, I threaded through the town; The evening crowd was clamouring and drinking, Vulgar and pitiful–my heart bowed down– Till I remembered duller hours made noble By strangers clad in some suprising grace. Wait, wait my soul, your music comes ere midnight Appearing in some unexpected place With quivering lips, and gleaming, moonlit face.
Darkness Hungry Prowlsby Goff James
Vachel Lindsay (1879 – 1931) was an American poet. He is considered a founder of modern singing poetry, as he referred to it, in which verses are meant to be sung or chanted.
Lindsay’s fame as a poet grew in the 1910s. Because Harriet Monroe showcased him with two other Illinois poets—Carl Sandburg and Edgar Lee Masters—his name became linked to theirs. The success of either of the other two, in turn, seemed to help the third.
Lindsay, a versatile and prolific writer and poet, helped to “keep alive the appreciation of poetry as a spoken art” whose poetry was said to “abound in meter and rhymes and is no shredded prose”, had a traditional verse structure and was described by a contemporary in 1924 as “pungent phrases, clinging cadences, dramatic energy, comic thrust, lyric seriousness and tragic intensity”.
In 1932, Edgar Lee Masters published an article on modern poetry in The American Mercury that praised Lindsay extensively and wrote a biography of Lindsay in 1935 (four years after its subject’s death) entitled Vachel Lindsay: A Poet in America.
Lindsay’s biographer, Dennis Camp, says that Lindsay’s ideas on “civic beauty and civic tolerance” were published in 1912 in his broadside “The Gospel of Beauty” and that later, in 1915, Lindsay published the first American study of film as an art form, The Art of The Moving Picture. Camp notes that on Lindsay’s tombstone is recorded a single word, “Poet”.