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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.Read more
- Addressed to the interested general reader, without academic or critical jargon
- Organised by the key themes of war poetry, such as honor, empire, liberty, comradeship
- A timely book, with much to teach us about modern-day warfare
- Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009
Reviews & endorsements
"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 HistorySee more reviews
"...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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- Date Published: March 2008
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521710220
- length: 254 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 140 x 15 mm
- weight: 0.33kg
- contains: 19 b/w illus.
- availability: Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer
Table of Contents
Introduction: terrible beauty
1. Honor and memory
2. Shame and slaughter
3. The cost of empire
4. The myth of chivalry
5. Comrades in arms
6. The cause of liberty
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