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Vachel Lindsay

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Nicholas Vachel Lindsay was an American poet born in Springfield in 1879. His early 20th-century poetry includes General William Booth Enters into Heaven (1913), The Congo (1914) and The Chinese Nightingale (1917).

He studied at Hiram College in Hiram, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the New York School of Art.

Lindsay made tours selling his poems and drawings, living as a modern-day troubadour. He was particularly effective when reading his own poems. His poetry at its best is virile and strong. It has the feel of fine spoken music, often enhanced by jazz rhythms.

Lindsay was plagued by poverty and illness in his later years, and the quality of his poetry declined. He died in 1931.