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Another Troy features the recently discovered poetry of an American teenager, Joan Wehlen Morrison. We witness how she matures as a poet and historian from 1938-1944. Joan's poetry tells a unique – and true – story as she loses her innocence due to the impending war and its violent arrival. Along the way she dates a number of boys, reflects on politics and art, and ends up falling in love with the man who would become her husband. Offering us more than mere historical color, in her verse Joan muses on literature, nature, God, the meaning of life, romance, history, and World War II. This vivid account of a real American girl's lived experiences during the Great Depression and the start of World War II provides vital access to how poetry becomes a conduit for understanding historical events as they happen. In her papers found after her death—diaries, notebooks, and the jewels of the collection, her poetry—Joan's perspective demonstrates how, despite an underprivileged background financially, she managed to thrive surrounded by books, socialist political leanings, and artistic talk. Inspired by the literature she read, the young Joan writes verse in the vein of Robert Louis Stevenson, Louis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling. Later her favorite poets are A. E. Housman, John Donne, and Shakespeare. The title of this volume comes from Joan's passion for classical literature and the connections she makes between her present moment and those of antiquity. She remains a girl, able to make fun of herself, despite an ability to see deeply into things. Classical literature gives her sustenance in the darkest days of World War II. And Joan never loses her ability to feel compassion, even for the so-called enemy. These poems, sent as it were, in a time capsule to our moment today, remind us how the written word remains a means for hope for those in emotional extremity—from passionate love to dire political circumstances—both in terms of what one can read and what one can write.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781646622580
Publisher: Finishing Line Press
Publication date: 08/07/2020
Pages: 50
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.12(d)

About the Author

Joan Wehlen Morrison (1922-2010) was born in Chicago to a Swedish immigrant father and a mother of Ukrainian-Jewish heritage. Poor and working class, Joan received a scholarship to study at the University of Chicago. A resident of Morristown, NJ, Joan was the co-author of American Mosaic: The Immigrant Experience in the Words of Those Who Lived It (1980), recognized as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Dramatic readings from the book have been performed on Ellis Island, at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and in an "In Performance at the White House" program broadcast nationally on PBS. Her second book, From Camelot to Kent State: The Sixties Experience in the Words of Those Who Lived It (1987), became the basis for her popular course on the 1960s at the New School in New York City. Joan's wartime diaries have been published as Home Front Girl: A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing Up in Wartime America (2013).

Susan Signe Morrison, professor of medieval English literature at Texas State University, is the author of dozens of scholarly articles and four books on the Middle Ages: Women Pilgrims in Late Medieval England: Private Piety as Public Performance; Excrement in the Late Middle Ages: Sacred Filth and Chaucer's Fecopoetics; The Literature of Waste: Material Ecopoetics and Ethical Matter; and A Medieval Woman's Companion: Women's Lives in the European Middle Ages. Author of the novel Grendel's Mother: The Saga of the Wyrd-Wife, Susan edited Joan Wehlen Morrison's diaries as Home Front Girl. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Table of Contents

I Dreamt I Dwelt 1

Possession 2

On the War-Dead: For Armistice 3

Sanctum Sanctorum 4

Karnak Is Dead 5

Metaphor 6

Puck 7

Nature Hut 8

New York World’s Fair 1939 9

I Bumped into a Star 10

For a Moment 11

Did I Make the World? 12

In Memory of August 31, 1939 13

On Reading Virgil, Book IV, Lines 375-419 14

Joan Wehlen 15

A.D. 79 16

The Writer 17

Now in this April 18

God, Kiss the World Tonight 19

To a Fallen German 20

Cassandra 1940 21

Reminiscence of Days Gone Now 22

Last Year Before War Came 23

Holiness 24

In Memoriam November 28 25

H. 27

Paris 28

Remembered from Easter 29

The Storm 30

The Moon Is a Bent Feather 31

House Cleaning 32

Now It Is Come 33

Pledge 34

Once 35

If There Were No More World 37

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