The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children can make paper
turtles inspired by Lindsay's poem "The Little Turtle." Everyone
gets to enjoy some birthday cake and spiced cider or coffee. Tours
of the historic home -- located at 603 S. Fifth St., just south of
the governor's mansion -- take place throughout the day.
Vachel Lindsay Repertory Group will read selections from his poetry
at 11:30. Actors portraying Lindsay and his mother, Catharine
Lindsay, will appear, too. Two silent movies discussed in Lindsay's
landmark book "The Art of the Moving Picture" will run during the
afternoon. Charlie Chaplin's "Soldier Arms" starts at 12:30,
followed by D.W. Griffith's "Intolerance."
The event is sponsored by the Illinois Historic Preservation
Agency and the Vachel Lindsay Association.
Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site is open Tuesday
through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for free public tours.
A brief biography of Vachel Lindsay
Nicholas Vachel Lindsay, a major American poet, was born Nov. 10,
1879, at 603 S. Fifth St. in Springfield to Dr. Vachel Thomas
Lindsay and Catharine Frazee Lindsay. He graduated from Springfield
High School and studied at Hiram College in Ohio, the Chicago Art
Institute and the New York School of Art.
Lindsay made three famous walking tours of the United States in
1906, 1908 and 1912, covering more than 2,800 miles. On these
journeys, Lindsay traded poems for food and shelter, earning him the
title of "The Prairie Troubadour."
Lindsay was catapulted to fame with the 1913 publication of his
poem "General William Booth Enters into Heaven." Two years later his
poem "The Wedding of the Rose and the Lotus," calling for tolerance
between Western and Eastern cultures, was printed by the U.S.
secretary of the interior and sent to both houses of Congress in
connection with the opening of the Panama Canal. His "Congo" and
"Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight" are well-known by generations of
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Lindsay lectured at many universities, including Oxford,
Cambridge and the University of Illinois. He performed his poetry in
every state in the nation at the time. In 1925 he married Elizabeth
Conner of Spokane. Lindsay, his wife and two children returned to
his Springfield home in 1929, where he died on Dec. 5, 1931, in the
bedroom directly above the room where he was born.
Lindsay called himself a "rhymer-designer" and created drawings
to accompany his poems. He was a leading voice in the American "New
Poetry" movement, with a total published work of some 20 volumes of
poetry and prose. Lindsay and other major poets and artists of his
day championed a new language to express new subjects, such as civil
liberties, civic excellence, and humanitarian and aesthetic values.
He wrote poems of vehement protest against spiritual and
Sinclair Lewis called Lindsay "one of our great poets, a power
and a glory in the land." Author, poet and Illinois native Carl
Sandburg said, "I rate (his poems) among the supremely great
Lindsay's Springfield home was his creative center, and he
returned there many times during his career. He cited his hometown
and state more than 500 times in his publications. "The things most
worth while are one's own hearth and neighborhood," said Lindsay.
[Text from file received from
the Illinois Historic