Get Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Home PDF

By Philip Metres

ISBN-10: 0877459983

ISBN-13: 9780877459989

No matter if Thersites in Homer’s Iliad, Wilfred Owen in “Dulce et Decorum Est,” or Allen Ginsberg in “Wichita Vortex Sutra,” poets have lengthy given solitary voice opposed to the brutality of battle. The hasty cancellation of the 2003 White condo symposium “Poetry and the yankee Voice” within the face of protests by means of Sam Hamill and different invited visitors opposed to the arriving “shock and awe” crusade in Iraq reminded us that poetry and poets nonetheless have the ability to problem the strong.     in the back of the strains investigates American warfare resistance poetry from the second one global battle during the Iraq wars. instead of easily chronicling the style, Philip Metres argues that this poetry will get to the center of who's approved to discuss struggle and the way it may be represented. As such, he explores a principally overlooked sector of scholarship: the poet’s courting to dissenting political routine and the kingdom.     In his based research, Metres examines the ways that struggle resistance is registered not just when it comes to its content material but in addition on the point of the lyric. He proposes that protest poetry constitutes a subgenre that—by advantage of its preoccupation with politics, background, and trauma—probes the bounds of yank lyric poetry. hence, struggle resistance poetry—and the function of what Shelley calls unacknowledged legislators—is a very important, notwithstanding principally unexamined, physique of writing that stands on the heart of dissident political activities.

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Extra info for Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Home Front since 1941 (Contemp North American Poetry)

Example text

Alan Williamson theorizes a break between Lowell’s early political poetry and his mature work; Lowell’s early poems are shot through with a radi32 w o r l d wa r i i cal vehemence and a consciousness of evil, while the later poems tend to turn this critical gaze upon the speaker himself (84). The poems of Lowell’s early period—though occasionally imbued with the dynamic tension between his newfound Catholic belief in a nonviolent Christ and his Puritan ancestral heritage of genocidal colonialism (in particular, “Concord,” “At the Indian Killer’s Grave,” and “Christmas Eve Under Hooker’s Statue”)—often rely on an accusatory, self-righteous stance.

In the second section, reading of “Memories of West Street and Lepke,” I argue that Lowell encouraged the critical commonplace that his refusal was manic because the poem itself revises his resistance to the war. Lowell’s self-revision, while clearly a strategy of his mature poetics, also speaks to the larger cultural context of the 1950s, when the House Un-American Activities Committee bullied intellectuals and artists and demonized dissent. I read “Memories” therefore as a containment text, one that displaces the 1950s onto 1943, demonstrating broader connections between containment culture and confessional poetry.

At this anguished, delicate and perhaps determining moment, I feel I am serving you and our country best by not taking part in the White House Festival of the Arts. (CP 371) The collective we of the letter and at the conclusion of “Waking” hold a striking similarity, in its taking responsibility for the actions of the government. Here, Lowell wishes peace to our children when they fall in small war on the heels of small war—until the end of time to police the earth, a ghost orbiting forever lost in our monotonous sublime.

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Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Home Front since 1941 (Contemp North American Poetry) by Philip Metres


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