By Philip Metres
Even 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 struggle. The hasty cancellation of the 2003 White residence symposium “Poetry and the yank Voice” within the face of protests through Sam Hamill and different invited site visitors opposed to the arriving “shock and awe” crusade in Iraq reminded us that poetry and poets nonetheless have the facility to problem the strong. in the back of the strains investigates American struggle resistance poetry from the second one international conflict throughout 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 battle and the way it may be represented. As such, he explores a principally overlooked sector of scholarship: the poet’s courting to dissenting political hobbies and the kingdom. In his stylish research, Metres examines the ways that struggle resistance is registered not just when it comes to its content material but additionally 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 boundaries of yankee lyric poetry. hence, battle resistance poetry—and the function of what Shelley calls unacknowledged legislators—is an important, although mostly unexamined, physique of writing that stands on the heart of dissident political pursuits.
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Extra resources for Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Home Front since 1941 (Contemp North American Poetry)
Raised Episcopalian by his Jewish parents, Peck had by 1933 attended his first demonstration (against the Nazi Party), scandalized his classmates by bringing a black woman from Roxbury to the Harvard freshman prom, and got involved in a union struggle while working on a freighter. When the Second World War approached, he began writing for the War Resisters League’s newspaper, the Conscientious Objector. On October 6, 1940, he refused to sign his draft card and later was sentenced to three years in prison.
On the contrary, despite their weaknesses, Lowell’s letter and early poems often demonstrate an acute awareness of his vexed relationship to the history and politics of the United States, not simply reducible to his family heritage. 6 Life Studies, written ten years after Lowell’s incarceration, after Lowell had abandoned Catholicism and his early poetics, marks the poet’s turn from, in Steven Gould Axelrod’s phrasing, “the aristocratic, traditionalist ambiance provided by [Allen] Tate” (75). Still, one cannot underestimate the disciplining power of the New Criticism on a poet as concerned with authority as Lowell.
In light of the Iraq War and the renewal of poetry as a mode of cultural dissent, I examine the proliferation of traditional print poetry anthologies, such as Poets against the War, and on the Internet—drawing forth the implications of both “old” and “new” media for war resistance poetry. I also examine how Kent Johnson’s Lyric Poetry after Auschwitz revived the ongoing debates about the role of poetry in war, and offer Michael Magee’s “Political Song (Confused Voicing)” as a poem that unites political lyric, oppositional performance, and the experimental traditions into grief-stricken protest against the politics of retaliation.
Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Home Front since 1941 (Contemp North American Poetry) by Philip Metres