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The Poetry of War

by James Anderson Winn

ISBN 0521884039 / 9780521884037 / 0-521-88403-9
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

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. [via]