By Philip Metres

ISBN-10: 0877459983

ISBN-13: 9780877459989

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 warfare. The hasty cancellation of the 2003 White condominium symposium “Poetry and the yank Voice” within the face of protests through Sam Hamill and different invited site visitors opposed to the arrival “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 traces investigates American battle resistance poetry from the second one global struggle during the Iraq wars. instead of easily chronicling the style, Philip Metres argues that this poetry will get to the guts of who's approved to talk about warfare and the way it may be represented. As such, he explores a principally ignored quarter of scholarship: the poet’s courting to dissenting political hobbies and the kingdom.     In his dependent research, Metres examines the ways that warfare resistance is registered not just by way of 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, historical past, and trauma—probes the bounds of yank lyric poetry. therefore, battle resistance poetry—and the function of what Shelley calls unacknowledged legislators—is a very important, although principally unexamined, physique of writing that stands on the heart of dissident political events.

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

Example text

Along with Naeve, perhaps as a mode of survival, he and other prisoners began striking. Here Peck’s experience organizing and leading political actions came into use. Prisoners—both regular and war resisters—had a “potato boycott,” a “scrap the scrapple boycott,” and later a strike against a longer work week (landing them one week in solitary) and refusal to paint victory signs (giving them 10 days in solitary and 28 months’ segregation). Lowell, despite his connections, “chose to do manual labor in the mason shop to get experience in building a Catholic community which he hoped to do upon release .

Before turning to “Memories,” we must consider the micro- and macroeconomics of the new poetic emerging in Lowell’s Life Studies. “Memories” necessitates a deceptively simple question: to whom is the speaker talking? W. R. Johnson’s analysis of the lyric poem suggests that analyzing the use of pronominals in lyric poetry might render visible its ideological implications; he notes that modern lyrics increasingly eschew the personal I/You lyric address in favor of the meditative poem. Lowell’s “Memories” follows the meditative pattern but cannot create the transparent subjectivity upon which the meditative poem relies; Lowell’s poem insists on drawing a particularized selfportrait that recognizes his past dissent.

Hilene Flanzbaum sees Lowell’s opposition as part of the poet’s “yearning to find common ground with the large American audience” (47) and argues that “the growing unpopularity of the Vietnam War, and the cultural revolution spawned in the wake of protests against it, found Lowell closer to mainstream American ideology and appetites than he would ever have thought possible. Abruptly, Lowell’s iconoclasm was chic” (45). However, Flanzbaum supports her thesis by arguing that “from its inception, the anti-war robert lowell’s refusals 45 movement attracted large crowds, which made protesting American involvement in Vietnam both respectable and profitable” (45).

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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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