Poets of World War II

Poets of World War II

by Harvey Shapiro


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This anthology brings together 120 poems about World War II by sixty-two American poets, chosen, as editor Harvey Shapiro writes in his introduction, “with a purpose: to demonstrate that the American poets of this war produced a body of work that has not yet been recognized for its clean and powerful eloquence.” The poets are generally unsentimental, ironic, and often astonished by what they have experienced, and their insights still have the power to shake up our perceptions of that war and of war in general.
Most of the poets included in the volume served in the armed forces; some—Louis Simpson, Anthony Hecht, Kenneth Koch—saw combat in the infantry, while others—James Dickey, Howard Nemerov, Richard Hugo, John Ciardi—fought in the air. Also included: poets who experienced the war as civilians, including Robinson Jeffers, Marianne Moore, and Conrad Aiken; poems by conscientious objectors and draft resisters, including William Stafford and Robert Lowell; and an elegy by James Tate for his father, who was killed in action when Tate was an infant.

About the American Poets Project
Elegantly designed in compact editions, printed on acid-free paper, and textually authoritative, the American Poets Project makes available the full range of the American poetic accomplishment, selected and introduced by today’s most discerning poets and critics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781931082334
Publisher: Library of America
Publication date: 07/28/2002
Series: American Poets Project Series , #2
Pages: 262
Sales rank: 1,227,331
Product dimensions: 4.85(w) x 7.85(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Harvey Shapiro, editor, flew thirty-five missions as an Air Force radio gunner during World War II and was decorated for his service. He has edited both The New York Times Book Review and The New York Times Magazine, and his many books of poetry include National Cold Storage Company (1988) and How Charlie Shavers Died and Other Poems (2001).

Table of Contents

From Canto LXXXIII2
Pearl Harbor12
The Bloody Sire14
"Keeping Their World Large"15
Three Star Final17
From By the Well of Living and Seeing18
"When he was small, when he would fall"20
Ode to Our Young Pro-consuls of the Air21
To a Military Rifle26
Moonlight Alert27
Night of Battle28
The Witness29
The Fury of Aerial Bombardment31
A Ceremony by the Sea32
from Aesthetics After War: Instruments34
from A Song for the Year's End37
Reflection by a Mailbox39
Careless Love40
September 1, 193941
Survival: Infantry57
from Of Being Numerous58
Rifle Range: Louisiana59
Three American Women and a German Bayonet62
The Spool64
The City of Beggars68
The Airman Who Flew Over Shakespeare's England70
The Raid72
The Blinding of Isaac Woodard74
Shot Down at Night78
Troop Train81
Full Moon: New Guinea82
Lord, I Have Seen Too Much83
The Moon and the Night and the Men85
Eighth Air Force87
The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner88
Transient Barracks88
O My Name It Is Sam Hall89
A Camp in the Prussian Forest90
June 194092
The City as Hero93
At the Grave of My Brother: Bomber Pilot94
Explaining the Big One94
Some Remarks When Richard Hugo Came95
To the Woman in Bond Street Station97
Elegy Just in Case99
V-J Day101
A Box Comes Home102
Elegy for a Cove Full of Bones103
Remembering That Island106
"Vale" from Carthage110
Ripeness Is All111
from Beach Red112
Negro Hero115
On the Eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception: 1942118
The Bomber119
Memories of West Street and Lepke121
Soldiers in Death124
Epithalamium in Olive Drab126
Pidgin Pinch127
Columbus Circle Swing128
A Spring Memorandum: Fort Knox129
Navy Field132
Love Letter from an Impossible Land133
Flight as a Way of Life138
A Fable of the War139
A Memory of the War140
Night Operations, Coastal Command RAF141
The War in the Air141
On a Certain Engagement South of Seoul144
Jethro Somes' Apostrophe to His Former Comrades147
Mined Country148
First Snow in Alsace149
Place Pigalle150
The Firebombing152
Memorial Service for the Invasion Beach Where the Vacation in the Flesh Is Over163
Portrait from the Infantry164
Self-Exhortation on Military Themes165
Stentor and Mourning166
from Rites and Ceremonies: The Room168
"More Light! More Light!"170
Still Life172
Where We Crashed174
Spinizzola: Quella Cantina La178
Note from Capri to Richard Ryan on the Adriatic Floor180
Arm in Arm182
Carentan O Carentan183
Memories of a Lost War185
Old Soldier186
On the Ledge187
A Bower of Roses189
The Stoic: For Laura Von Courten193
World War II195
Mothball Fleet: Benicia, California201
Battle Report203
War Stories206
To Carelessness210
To World War Two210
Ten Days Leave215
Returned to Frisco, 1946216
The Lost Pilot218
Biographical Notes223
Sources and Acknowledgments243
Index of Titles and First Lines256

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Poets of World War II 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
auntieknickers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Both famous and less well-known poets are represented in this fine anthology.