Aubade: A Chicago poem

April 15, 2011

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(Flickr/Omar Chatriwala)
Gardner’s poem pays tribute to morning in Chicago.

For National Poetry Month we’ve dug up a gem by poet Sarah J. Gardner from the Amplified archives.   

Traditionally an aubade is a poetic ode between lovers separating at dawn. (As opposed to a serenade, which is a love song for the evening.)  But Gardner’s poem by the same name is written in praise of morning in downtown Chicago, with glittering sun that “shimmies from one glass tower to the next,” and ever-present el trains that “treble by, excavated from the copper-limbed knaves below street level.” As someone who chose Chicago as her adopted home, I well up a little when I hear her describe the city’s splendor this way: So this is what is meant by the kingdom of man.

You can hear Gardner’s reading of the poem in the audio posted above.

Dynamic Range showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified’s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Sarah Gardner read for an audience at Woman Made Gallery in May of 2010. Click here to hear the event in its entirety, and click here to subscribe to the Dynamic Range podcast.