Andrea Hofer Proudfoot was a patron of the Dill Pickle Club. This poem is from Trolly Lines (Chicago: R.F. Seymour circa 1919) – Trevor Blake
The Optimist’s Ego
I do not feel me travelling these rails,
Elbowing the herd;
For have I not been chosen to be I?
Some great wise power pruned so well
Through the bloom of teeming life
That I am pleased with this I that I am.
It picked me a keen gray firey glance
To look out from the lifted mind
It clothed my Self with,
To glimpse all these vistas
That open before me as I ride.
Looking down into the cross-paths
I find the source of this Me that is I
(Which I adore);
I see the vistas of the mother-worlds
Bringing forth I’s and I’s
To finally fashion just this one
That fits my last and crown so perfectly.
As I press forward into the expanses
Down each passing avenue I look and see
The radiating rows of golden paths
Called for want of better names:
Poetry, Art, Music—
Dawning into the sun-stream
Which happened to be just I;
Dressing the lambent fibers
Which threaded down the pattern into Me.
How perfectly they’ve come together;
What a choice revelry of dance
They carry on in Me. (Where are we passing?)
So that waking they crowd my longings,
And sleeping they people a world
That I may roam in glory-gleaming ways.
Often I meet John there
And match colors with him,
To prove that the heavenly streets he painted
Were but the poor thoroughfares of his day,
Compared with the endless crosslines
And the intricate composite alleys
That transport us into the glow world Of the expanded I
Of my day