We’ve lived here for more than 30 years, and the longer we’re here, the more we see the poetry of this place called St. Louis.
St. Louis is a poem, a still unfinished poem, a work in process, sometimes even a work in progress.
We see the lines of this poem in the sleek, gray lines of the Contemporary Art Museum;
the riot of architecture known as City Hall; the nod to commercial nostaliga called Busch Stadium; the ruffled red brick that comprises so much of north and south St. Louis; the symphonic sound of Powell Hall, the jazz ensembles from the Sheldon and the glitzy musicals of the Muny and the Fox; the view across the river to Illinois from Bellerive Park; the Mississippi at flood stage roaring under the Eads Bridge; the city of our rich and glorious past known as Bellefontaine Cemetery; the multitude of suburbs fighting for their own identity; the hungry goats at Grant’s Farm; the daily westbound traffic jams on Highway 40 alongside Forest Park.
We are a feisty poem, we are; we argue and conspire and still love the 1904 World’s Fair than none of us saw but all of us know. We fight with each other but unite in outrage when disparaged by outsiders. We love Chicago but hate it, too, mostly because we should have been what Chicago is but long ago someone fell in love with steamboats instead of the railroad. Our motto could have been “We Loved Steamboats.”
So we are what we are, and what we’re becoming. We are a poem, unfinished like all great poems.
Our purpose here is to publish, two or three times a week, the poems that are St. Louis. Some we write ourselves; some we’ll find elsewhere and seek permission to publish. Submissions are welcome, too, by providing links in the comments. We will verify your permission first.
Come help us write this poem that is St. Louis.