Friday, June 10, 2011


"Soldiers take an oath to defend the Constitution, but let me tell you, what they're really defending is libraries and museums and the memories of the human species, and that's an awesome responsibility."
~ Donald Anderson

an excerpt of Here, Bullet
by Brian Turner

If a body is what you want,
then here is bone and gristle and flesh.
Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,
the aorta's opened valves, the leap
thought makes at the synaptic gap.


Do read the rest of Here, Bullet. I read the poem when it first came out, and it stayed with me.

More about Brian Turner:

Iraq Soldier Describes War in Poetry

Interview with Poet-Soldier Brian Turner on the San Francisco Book Review.

Other soldier-poet links, from various time periods:

About the 18-minute film Poet, Soldier, 2009. Also, its trailer

Wilfred Owen: The soldiers' poet

The Work of Soldier Poetry in Kansas, 1917-1919 by Timothy D. Rives (about WWI)

Verses in Wartime

Jennifer Ludden interviews Robert Hedin, who edited American War Poems, from Revolution to Terror.

"Army & Navy: Soldier Poet in New Guinea" from Time, Monday, Jan. 11, 1943

Why poetry is the soldier's art by Douglas Perry

The Welcome Home Project: Poetry

Today's Poetry Friday round-up is hosted by Anastasia.


Mary Lee said...

Interesting collection of links. Lots to read and think about.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

As usual, so much richness here that I can't take it all in, but the the poem and the idea that poetry is the soldier's art are revelatory.

I have had to acknowledge, partly as a result of recent direct awareness-raising efforts, that my contempt and distaste for war as a problem-solving technique has seeped heavily into a contempt of people who serve in war. I'm working on that, and poetry helps.
(As usual in any civilizing efforts!) Thanks, Tabatha.