to discard the limitations of conventional form: if both were more free,

more individual, than their contemporaries, this was

the expression of their Americanism, which may perhaps be defined

as a spiritual independence and love of adventure inherited from the pioneers.

Foreign artists are usually the first to recognize this new tang;

one detects the influence of the great dead poet and dead painter

in all modern art which looks forward instead of back;

and their countrymen, our own contemporary poets and painters,

often express indirectly, through French influences,

a reaction which they are reluctant to confess directly.

A lighter phase of this foreign enthusiasm for the American tang

is confessed by Signor Marinetti, the Italian "futurist",

when in his article on `Futurism and the Theatre', in `The Mask',

he urges the revolutionary value of "American eccentrics",

citing the fundamental primitive quality in their vaudeville art.

This may be another statement of Mr. Lindsay's plea for a closer relation

between the poet and his audience, for a return to the healthier

open-air conditions, and immediate personal contacts, in the art of the Greeks

and of primitive nations. Such conditions and contacts may still be found,

if the world only knew it, in the wonderful song-dances of the Hopis

and others of our aboriginal tribes. They may be found, also, in a measure,

in the quick response between artist and audience in modern vaudeville.

They are destined to a wider and higher influence; in fact,

the development of that influence, the return to primitive sympathies

between artist and audience, which may make possible once more

the assertion of primitive creative power, is recognized as

the immediate movement in modern art. It is a movement strong enough

to persist in spite of extravagances and absurdities; strong enough,

it may be hoped, to fulfil its purpose and revitalize the world.

It is because Mr. Lindsay's poetry seems to be definitely in that movement

that it is, I think, important.

Harriet Monroe.

Table of Contents

Introduction. By Harriet Monroe

First Section

Poems intended to be read aloud, or chanted.

The Congo

The Santa Fe Trail

The Firemen's Ball

The Master of the Dance

The Mysterious Cat

A Dirge for a Righteous Kitten

Yankee Doodle

The Black Hawk War of the Artists

The Jingo and the Minstrel

I Heard Immanuel Singing

Second Section


An Argument

A Rhyme about an Electrical Advertising Sign

In Memory of a Child

Galahad, Knight Who Perished

The Leaden-eyed

An Indian Summer Day on the Prairie

The Hearth Eternal

The Soul of the City Receives the Gift of the Holy Spirit

By the Spring, at Sunset

I Went down into the Desert

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