Dreaming the End of War

Overview

This gripping suite of twelve dreams, infused with the conflict along the border of Mexico and the United States, traces humanity’s addiction to violence and killing—from boys stepping on ants to men shooting animals, men shooting women, men shooting enemies. The Dreams begin in a desert landscape where poverty and wealth grate against each other, and the ever present war becomes “as invisible as the desert sands we trample on.” The dreams, however, move toward a greater peace ...

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Overview

This gripping suite of twelve dreams, infused with the conflict along the border of Mexico and the United States, traces humanity’s addiction to violence and killing—from boys stepping on ants to men shooting animals, men shooting women, men shooting enemies. The Dreams begin in a desert landscape where poverty and wealth grate against each other, and the ever present war becomes “as invisible as the desert sands we trample on.” The dreams, however, move toward a greater peace with Sáenz providing an unforgettable reading experience.

From “The Fourth Dream: Families and Flags and Revenge”:

I don’t believe a flag is important enough to kiss—
or even burn.

Some men would hate me enough to kill me if they read these words.

“Rage,” Sáenz said in an interview, “must be a component of any writer’s life. But this rage must also be contained—otherwise our very bodies will become chaos—our minds will become chaos. We need order.” Sáenz finds that order in poems, transforming his rage into something “more beautiful and gracious and forgiving.”

Poet and novelist Benjamin Sáenz has written 10 books of poetry and prose, most recently In Perfect Light (HarperCollins). He was a Catholic priest, doing missionary and charity work in London, Tanzania, and the barrio parishes of El Paso, Texas. Upon leaving the priesthood, he was awarded a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. He teaches in the MFA program at University of Texas, El Paso.

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Editorial Reviews

Rafael Campos
Sáenz's Dreaming the End of War is perhaps most directly relevant to our current moment. A former Catholic priest, this poet creates prayerful verse that is at once mystical and utterly human. In a series of "dreams," he investigates the very origins of human conflict: These meditations, which take place in the stark desert borderland between Mexico and the United States (in turn a metaphor for the borders between consciousness and unconsciousness and the corporeal and spiritual worlds), posit a primal tendency to divide ourselves. Sáenz also crosses the boundary between the personal and the political, recognizing in his own experiences the seeds of violence that he so abhors in U.S. government policies.
— The Washington Post
Library Journal
Plainspoken but affecting, this driving verse considers the human capacity for violence, visiting the border between the United States and Mexico but not remaining there. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556592393
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2006
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

A former Catholic priest, Benjamin Sáenz, has published five books of poetry, four novels, a collection of short stories, and two bilingual children's books. He received the American Book Award, and teaches in the MFA program at University of Texas, El Paso.

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