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The Poetry of War
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Details

  • 19 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 254 pages
  • Size: 216 x 138 mm
  • Weight: 0.33 kg
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Paperback

 (ISBN-13: 9780521710220)

  • Also available in Hardback
  • Published March 2008

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$32.99 (P)

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.

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; Index.

Prize Winner

Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2009

Reviews

"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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