Words to Measure a War

Nine American Poets of World War II


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SKU: 9780786443062 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

This is a study of the war poetry of nine American men who served in World War II. The efforts of those who had established themselves as poets prior to or during the war (Karl Shapiro, Randall Jarrell, John Ciardi, and William Meredith) are compared with those whose poetic careers began after the war (Louis Simpson, James Dickey, Richard Hugo, Howard Nemerov, and Lincoln Kirstein). The military careers of these soldiers illuminate how their experiences affected the content as well as style of their poems. Each man’s poetry directly related to his involvement with the combat environment: the closer the combat experience, the more personal the poetry; the more distant the experience, the more detached the poetry.

About the Author(s)

David K. Vaughan is a retired Air Force officer and educator. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Bibliographic Details

David K. Vaughan
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4306-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
Preface      1
Introduction      3

1. Karl Shapiro, U.S. Army      15
2. Randall Jarrell, U.S. Army Air Forces      32
3. John Ciardi, U.S. Army Air Forces      48
4. William Meredith, U.S. Navy      65
5. Howard Nemerov, U.S. Army Air Forces      82
6. Louis Simpson, U.S. Army      98
7. James Dickey, U.S. Army Air Forces      114
8. Richard Hugo, U.S. Army Air Forces      136
9. Lincoln Kirstein, U.S. Army      151

10. Conclusion      167
Chapter Notes      179
Bibliography      187
Index      191

Book Reviews & Awards

“a highly accessible and enlightening study of wartime poetry. His erudite and enthralling commentaries make for incisive interpretations as he couples his own ample piloting experience with his knowledge of wartime aviation history to enhance his expositions in ways almost unique among poetry expositors. This book comes with the highest recommendation of any this reviewer has evaluated”—Military Review.