Monday, November 19, 2007

A Review of Behind the Lines

Blogs are already so much the egotistical sublime that it borders on the ludicrous to promote one's own work in such a form. Yet I discovered a new review of Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront Since 1941 by a poet named Jeffrey C. Alfier, a member of Poets Against War. Thanks, Mr. Alfier, not only for reading the book, but also seeing it as a worthwhile project. You've allowed me to hold off panicked seizings of self-doubt for at least a week. Here's the ending:
Metres does not foster an uncritical acceptance of all war resistance poetry; for some of it “seems too often shrill and veers into a circular address.” Too much of it is bland or clich├ęd polemic, better suited to being letters to editors than inscribed as poetry. In the end, Metres goes far beyond giving us a chronology and description of America’s war resistance poetry; rather, his work proves an incisive cultural critique. This book is highly recommended not only to those interested in poetry but also to students of literary and sociological studies of war and peace.

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