Old Glory

Old Glory

American War Poems From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terrorism

Book - 2004
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This unique, comprehensive anthology gathers together more than two hundred poems about the American experience of war--narratives, meditations, elegies, lamentations, odes, tributes, and battle hymns--many of them classics. Written by soldier-poets as well as poets on the home front, they are deeply personal, reflecting love of country, sacrifice, tragedy, glory, and sometimes disillusionment or dissent. Arranged chronologically, virtually every conflict is included: the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Indian War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, September 11, and the present war in Iraq. Among the 140 poets are Longfellow, Wheatley, Dunbar, Bryant, Emerson, Thoreau, Crane, Dickinson, Melville, Whitman, Whittier, Masters, Bogan, Lindsay, Cummings, Eliot, Frost, Lowell, Pound, Sandburg, Bishop, Hughes, Levertov, Stevens, Williams, Bly, Creeley, Ginsberg, Harper, Paley, Rich, Warren, Komunyakaa, Weigl, and Collins. A major historical, cultural, and literary volume, Old Glory speaks from the depth of time as well as from the immediacy of our own moment.
Publisher: New York : Persea Books, c2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780892553105
0892553103
Characteristics: xxviii, 370 p. ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Hedin, Robert 1949-

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PimaLib_DanielS Sep 15, 2015

Let me start by saying that I am not typically a big fan of poetry. I often find it long-winded and inaccessible. I borrowed this book because it had a poem in it by former poet laureate W. S. Merwyn, who I had recently watched a documentary about. Much to my surprise, I loved this collection! It is fascinating to see the progression of poems from flag-waving blind patriotism in some of the poems early in our history (many actually written 50 years or more after the end of the Revolutionary War) to the more gritty descriptions of the brutality, ugliness, and sometimes just sheer boredom of warfare. From the Civil War on, many of the poems are asking the question, why are we fighting? (Yes, even during World War II.) Even more surprising to me was just how visual the poems were. You could see, hear, smell, even feel many of the mind pictures the poets were trying to convey - probably much more effectively than in prose. Just an amazing collection; I recommend it highly!

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