“With Ambush and Stratagem”

Philip Metres

in The Oxford Handbook of Modern and Contemporary American Poetry

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398779
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 “With Ambush and Stratagem”

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)
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This article presents an overview of American war poetry, exploring poets who follow in the boots of the World War I soldier poets, such as Randall Jarrell, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Brian Turner, who in certain respects have come to represent World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Iraq War, respectively, as they “dismantle glory”. Great soldier poetry has tended to succeed in its “realisms” of the battle experience—from the adrenalized psychic and spiritual intensities—to the postwar reverberations of war. The article threads a chronological discussion of war poetry in three manifestations: soldier poetry, Pure War/war resistance poetry, and peace poetry. Though these artificial categories overlap considerably, they suggest a way to acknowledge and organize the problematics of war poetry as it manifests itself from different points of view.

Keywords: American war poetry; soldier poetry; soldier poets; pure war poetry; war resistance poetry; peace poetry

Article.  16781 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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