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Deeply Dug In (Mary Burritt Christiansen Poetry Series)

ISBN: 9780826331823
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Edition: 0
Publication Date: 2003-11-30
Number of pages: 96
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Thirty-five years ago R. L. Barth was a Marine patrol leader in the First Reconnaissance Battalion in Vietnam. Today he is a poet's poet who articulates the harsh realities and ironies of war in the style of the great classical satirists. Barth writes about Vietnam, but his soldier's take on the war is startlingly applicable to the conflicts of the twenty-first century or to any war that happens to be going on.

"I never once saw dying eyes / That were not stunned or shattered by surprise." That is just as it is, never mind all the dulce et decorum exhortations of politicians, who today as always clamor to kill us all. In this slender but rich collection of poems, R. L. Barth proves himself a worthy descendant of Martial and Archilochus, lobbing grenades at what Kenneth Rexroth called the Social Lie, capturing moments of grace and disgrace in combat, and locating the Homeric nobility of ordinary soldiers under fire. As he does, he honors the language. Read him, eyes wide open, and understand."--Gregory McNamee, editor of The Desert Reader

"An inventive and resourceful poet. . . . very discreet . . . his lines are built out of images balanced by concepts, each giving weight to the other. . . . Poet or not, Barth was in charge of an elite fighting group that stayed out longer than other units. . . . Many died, including a friend of Barth's memorialized in 'Elegy for a Dead Friend,' one of the best war poems in English."--Thomas D'Evelyn, Christian Science Monitor

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