This week’s Tuesday Poem – ‘The Flower-Fed Buffaloes’ – is from American Midwest poet Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931). Known for his performance poetry (see the fabulous photograph of him performing, below) and the pronounced musical qualities that attended his poetry, Lindsay was attributed, in the early 20th century, the title of the ‘Prairie Troubadour’ – the granting of which he took very seriously. He was known to travel on foot, trading his poetry – performances and pamphlets – for food and lodging. I really admire the lyrical, musical phrasing of Lindsay’s poetry, and I equally admire his concerted passion for, and remarkable dedication to, his craft. With ‘The Flower-Fed Buffaloes’, I particularly love the concluding few lines with the repetition that adds such pathos, such lamenting to the state of the native beasts.
The Flower-Fed Buffaloes
The flower-fed buffaloes of the spring
In the days of long ago,
Ranged where the locomotives sing
And the prairie flowers lie low: -
The tossing, blooming, perfumed grass
Is swept away by the wheat,
Wheels and wheels and wheels spin by
In the spring that still is sweet.
But the flower-fed buffaloes of the spring
Left us, long ago.
They gore no more, they bellow no more,
They trundle around the hills no more: -
With the Blackfeet, lying low,
With the Pawnees, lying low,
If you are in the mood for poetry this Tuesday, don’t miss out on the rest of the Tuesday Poems at the hub, there are some crackers this week. I am away in Italy for two weeks, so there will be a bit of an absence from blogging, but I will be back with another Tuesday Poem later in the month. Happy poetry reading until then!