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The Poetry of War

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Overview

Poets from Homer to Bruce Springsteen have given voice to the intensity, horror and beauty of war. The greatest war poets praise the victor while mourning the victim; they honor the dead while raising deep questions about the meaning of honor. Poets have given memorable expression to the personal motives that send men forth to fight: idealism, shame, comradeship, revenge. They have also helped shape the larger ideas that nations and cultures invoke as incentives for warfare: patriotism, religion, empire, chivalry, freedom. The Poetry of War shows how poets have shaped and questioned our basic ideas about warfare. Reading great poetry, Winn argues, can help us make informed political judgments about current wars. From the poems he discusses, readers will learn how soldiers in past wars felt about their experiences, and why poets in many periods and cultures have embraced war as a grand and challenging subject.

About the Author:
James Anderson Winn is Professor of English at Boston University

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Poetry of War offers compelling evidence that poetry has played an important role in shaping how both soldiers and civilians have viewed war for thousands years...Winn is writing not only for his fellow literary scholars but also for anyone who cares about war and truth"
-David Rachels, Virginia Military Institute, The Journal of Military History

"...a lucid, elegantly reasoned analysis of war poetry...A necessary resource for those interested in war poetry, this book deserves a broad audience." —CHOICE

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521710220
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/29/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 254
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

James Anderson Winn is Professor of English at Boston University.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations     viii
Acknowledgments     x
Introduction: Terrible beauty     1
Honor and memory     12
Shame and slaughter     38
The cost of empire     66
The myth of chivalry     101
Comrades in arms     145
The cause of liberty     182
Notes     220
Index     234
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 18, 2010

    Captivating. The poems chosen all have their own beauty.

    The compilation has been so thoroughly researched and the introductions tell the history of the poetry, so that you not only appreciate the beauty and power of each poem, but can place it in its own time.
    The horror of war has moved so many to write movingly and strongly over centuries.

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