After The Lost War

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Andrew Hudgins imagines himself in the life of a now largely forgotten poet, Sidney Lanier, who served as a soldier for the Confederacy.

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Andrew Hudgins imagines himself in the life of a now largely forgotten poet, Sidney Lanier, who served as a soldier for the Confederacy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"One of the best narrative poems to appear in this country in more than 30 years." The Denver Post
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``Verse this may be, but it is at the same time a historical novel if not a fictional biography,'' remarked PW about this account of Civil War veteran, poet and musician Sidney Lanier . ``As a marriage of poetry and fiction, this highly readable narrative combines the best of both forms into an intensely moving history . . . an epic achievement.'' (June)
Library Journal
A long sequence of poems based on the life of a largely forgotten 19th-century Southern poet seems at first an academic, if not pedantic, exercise; but Hudgins's portrayal of Sidney Lanier vibrates with an emotional and intellectual vitality its subject would envy. On the framework of external eventsLanier's Civil War experiences, marriage, fatherhood, illnessHudgins constructs a philosophical narrative, the inner struggle of one mind to make sense of the ``strange, impersonal violences/that nature gives us.'' Free of the sentimentality and archaisms too often present in Lanier's own poems, these deft tetrameter lines may well outlast the ones that inspired them.Fred Muratori, Cornell University Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395457139
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 6/1/1989
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 146
  • Sales rank: 1,198,972
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

ANDREW HUDGINS is the author of seven books of poems, including Saints and Strangers , The Glass Hammer , and most recently Ecstatic in the Poison . A finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, he is a recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships as well as the Harper Lee Award. He currently teaches in the Department of English at Ohio State University.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2002

    a great narrative series

    In the many discussions of poetry that have been had, one question brought up by the novice is why do some poets write their stories in poems rather than fiction. The answer has always been to point to the classic epics or to the narrative poems of Frost, Robinson, and so on. I've recently found contemporary narratives that I can point to. Dave Mason's 'The Country I Remember', the book-length narrative sequences by Marilyn Nelson, 'The Homeplace', and Kim Addonizio, 'Jimmy & Rita.' And now I have another to point to, Hudgins' 'After the Lost War.' It's a series of lyric poems, dramatic monologues, and shorter narrative poems that tell the story of poet/musician Sidney Lanier, who lived in the 19th century and fought in the Civil War. Hudgins tells the story through Lanier's point of view, in a voice Hudgins created for the narrator. The poems range from sad to loving to brutal. The poems come together to give us not only the story of Lanier, but a feel for the man and the times. It's a fine work of narrative poetry, one that I think will prove important to bringing the narrative poem back to the position it once held.

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