ENGLISH 685:002  /  SUSAN TICHY  /  FALL 2005



This biblio includes sources I've used preparing the course & other material that might be useful for your paper or annotation. This page is still under construction: some entries are incomplete and new sources for 2005 have not yet been added. Extensive bibliographies are included in many of the books listed here. I have not attempted a comprehensive list of individual poets or volumes: such a list would resemble a small phone book.

General Sources  /  World War I  /  World War II  /  Vietnam War  /  Oppen  /  Finlay

General Sources

Baudrillard, Jean. "The Reality Gulf," Guardian 11( Jan 91). 25+
A now-infamous study of the first Gulf War as a rhetorical exercise.

Chesterman, Simon. "Ordering the New World: Violence and Its Re/Presentation in the Gulf War and Beyond." Postmodern Culture 8:3. http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/postmodern_culture/v008/8.3chehttsterman.html

Featherstone, Simon: War Poetry: An Introductory Reader. London & NY: Routledge, 1995.

Foss, Michael, ed. Poetry of the World Wars. New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1990.

Gibbons, Reginald, ed. The Writer in Our World: A Triquarterly Symposium. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1985. This symposium considered fiction and poetry in relation to politics, history, and war, and also took up such issues as "The Solitary and the Social" and censorship. Participants included Terrence Des Pres, Michael S. Harper, Derek Walcott, Leslie Epstein, Ward Just, Robert Stone, Gloria Emerson, Mary Lee Settle, and others. The "Questions and Answers" portions are escpecially valuable.

Dickie, Margaret. Stein, Bishop & Rich: Lyrics of Love, War, & Place. Chapel Hill: U North Carolina, 1997.

Jameson, Frederic. The Political Unconsious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1981.

Jones, Richard, ed. Poetry and Politics: An Anthology of Essays. NY: Quill, 1985. A collection of exceptionally high quality. Includes essays by W.H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Michael Hamburger, Stanley Kunitz, Howard Nemerov, Carolyn Forche, and others, which, while not bearing directly on the subject of "war poetry," are extremely useful in contextualizing the issues of conscience and aeshetics which poems of war inevitibly raise.

Nelson, Cary. Modern American Poetry Site: An Online Journal and Multimedia Companion to Anthology of Modern American Poetry, Oxford University. 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002. http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/

Scarry, Elaine. The Body in Pain. New York: Oxford, 1985.
A brilliant meditation on the human body and the fundamental inexpressibility of pain. Scarry investigates the vocabularies of pain (medical, literary, political, philosophical, religious) and analyzes the political consequences of pain in its most official forms: torture and war.

Slotkin, Richard. Regeneration through Violence.

Stallworthy, Jon, ed. The Oxford Book of War Poetry. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1984.
From Homer to William Stafford: a worthy collection. And yet, despite privileging the soldier poets of other wars, Stallworthy has included not one poem by a Vietnam War combatant. His introduction makes no mention of this omission, whose justification is difficult to imagine.

Walsh, Jeffrey. American War Literature 1914 to Vietnam. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998.

General Sources  /  World War I  /  World War II  /  Vietnam War  /  Oppen  /  Finlay  /  Back to Top

World War I

Apollinaire, Guillaume. Calligrammes: Poems of Peace and War (1913-1916). Tr. Anne Hyde Greet. Berkeley: UP California, 1980.  

Booth, Allyson. Postcards from the Trenches: Negotiating the Space Between Modernism and the First World War. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1996.

Cobley, Evelyn. Representing War: Form and Ideology in First World War Narratives. Toronto: U Toronto Press, 1993. A deconstructive reading of the ideological implications of narrative form in WWI narratives. Includes close attention to In Parenthesis, which she treats as a prose narrative. Intelligently written, light on theoretical jargon.

Fussell, Paul The Great War and Modern Memory. New York: Oxford UP, 1975.

Reilly, Catherine, ed. The Virago Book of Women’s War Poetry and Verse. London: Virago, 1997. An ominibus edition of Scars Upon My Heart and Chaos of the Night, poems of World War I and World War II, respectively.

Silkin, Jon. Out of Battle: The Poetry of the Great War. Second Edition. NY: St. Martin's Press, 1998. Also London: MacMillan, 1998.

Silkin, Jon, ed. Penguin Book of First World War Poetry. Second Edition. NY: Penguin, 1981.

General Sources  /  World War I  /  World War II  /  Vietnam War  /  Oppen  /  Finlay  /  Back to Top

World War II

Bergonzi, Bernard. Wartime and Aftermath: English Literature and its Background 1936-60. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1993. An introduction to this period.

Dugan, Alan. Poems Seven: Collected and New Poems. New Haven: Yale UP, 2002.

Eberhart, Richard. Collected Poems 1930-1960. New York: Oxford UP, 1960.

Fein, Richard. "Randall Jarrell's World of War." Critical Essays on Randall Jarrell, ed. Suzanne Ferguson. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co, 1983. Recommended. Doesn't discuss many of the individual poems I've assigned, but excellent on the place of Jarrell's war poems in his overall career.

Finlay, Alec. "A River that Flows On: A critical overview of Hamish Henderson's life and work." The Armstrong Nose: Selected Letters of Hamish Henderson. Edinburgh: Polygon, 1996. pp. 299-356. Finlay writes:  "This commentary concentrates on Henderson's lifetime project, the Folksong Revival, and discusses the relationship between the Folksong Revival and the modern Scotish literary tradition. There is some discussion of Henderson's poetry, concentrating on the Elegies for the Dead in Cyrenaica, and his songs..." Discussion of the poetry includes the relation of the Elegies to Rilke's Duino Elegies, Henderson's relationship with the great Scottish Modernist Hugh MacDiarmid, and his combination of high art Modernism with what he called the 'presentification' of the poem through reconstruction of the spoken voice and idiom. Discussion of the Folksong Revival includes this emphasis on voice, idiom, and performance, the relation of Scottish folk song to cante jondo as defined by Lorca, the influence on Henderson of Gramsci's Prison Letters (which he translated), and much else. The notes alone constitute a good bibliography on Henderson.

Fussell, Paul. Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War. Oxford UP, 1989.

Henderson, Hamish. Collected Poems and Songs. Ed. Raymond Ross. Edinburgh: Curly Snake Publishing, 2000.

Howe, Susan. The Europe of Trusts. Los Angeles: Sun and Moon, 1990.

- - -  . Frame Structures: Early Poems 1974-1979. New Directions, 1996. This republication of early poems includes some of Howe's first autobriographical writing on the impact of war on her childhood. Also available on line through Literature Online (LION). Go through GMU library page, to databases.

Mitchell, Jack. "Hamish Henderson and the folk-song revival." Essays in Honour of William Gallacher. Berlin: Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin, 1966. Excerpt on Gaughan: http://www.dickalba.demon.co.uk/songs/texts/sclynote.html

Nemerov, Howard. Collected Poems. Chicago: U Chicago P, 1977.

Pound, Ezra. Selected Cantos. New Directions, 1970.

Reilly, Catherine, ed. Scars Upon My Heart: Women's Poetry and Verse of the First World War. London: Virago, 1981

- - -  . Chaos of the Night: Women's Poetry and Verse of the Second World War. London: Virago, 1984.
[An ominubus edition of these two books appeared as The Virago Book of Women’s War Poetry and Verse. London: Virago, 1997. It is out of print and even harder to find than the originals.]

Roman, Camille. Elizabeth Bishop's World War II - Cold War View. NY: Palgrave, 2001

Rukeyser, Muriel. The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser. McGraw-Hill, 1978.

Shapiro, Harvey, ed. Poetry of World War II. NY: New American Library, 2003.

Schweik, Susan. A Gulf So Deeply Cut: American Women Poets and the Second World War. U Wisconsin, 1991. The 'gulf' of the title is that perceived to lie between women and men, homefront and battle front. Schweik examines 'the experience of war' as a construct linked to constructions of masculinity, and her topics include not only the canonical poets we'll be discussing but also work from the Yiddish press, from interned Japanese Americans, and from the unpublished papers of numerous poets. An exemplary book.

Williams, Oscar. The War Poets. NY: John Day, 1945.

General Sources  /  World War I  /  World War II  /  Vietnam War  /  Oppen  /  Finlay  /  Back to Top

Vietnam War

Balaban, John. Locusts at the Edge of Summer: New & Selected Poems. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon, 1997.

Barry, Jan, ed. Peace Is Our Profession: Poems and Passages of War Protest. Montclair, NJ: East River Anthology, 1981.

Berrigan, Daniel. And the Risen Bread: Selected Poems 1957-1997. NY: Fordham UP, 1998.

- - - .  Night Flight to Hanoi: War Diary with 11 Poems. MacMillan, 1968.

Bibby, Michael. Hearts and Minds: Bodies, Poetry, and Resistance in the Vietnam Era. Rutgers UP, 1996. Informed by recent cultural and literary theory, this book examines the images, tropes, and symbols of the human body in activist poetry and political language. Includes Black Liberation, Women's Liberation, and GI Resistance poetry.

Bly, Robert. “Leaping Up into Political Poetry,” in Jones.

- - - . The Light Around the Body. NY: Harper & Row, 1967.

- - - - . The Teeth Mother Naked at Last. City Lights Books, 1970.

Kevin Bowen & Bruce Weigl, eds. Writing Between the Lines: An Anthology on War and Its Social Consequences. Amherst: U Massachusetts Press, 1995. Also available as an electronic book via the GMU library website.

Brown, D.F. Returning Fire. San Francisco State UP, 1984.

- - - . "The Other Half of Everything." Ironwood 31-32 (1988): 171-180.

Chattarji, Subarno. Memories of a Lost War: American Poetic Responses to the Vietnam War. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001. Chapters include Politics & Poetry, Stateside Poetry, 3 chapters on Veteran Poetry, Vietnamese Poetry. Studies of these poems are remarkably few, so we have to use what's out there. This is a useful book, and probably the broadest scope, but marred by Chatterji's unwillingness to examine her own assumptions about a what a poem is or ought to do.

Ehrhart, W.D., ed. Carrying the Darkness: Poetry of the Vietnam War. Lubbock: Texas Tech UP, 1989.

- - -  . "'Waiting for the Fire': An Essay on Vietnam War Poetry by Non-Vietnam War Veterans." Poetry East 9&10 (W82/Sp83): 112-17.

- - -  . "Soldier-Poets of the Vietnam War." America Rediscovered: Critical Essays on Literature and Film of the Vietnam War. Ed. Owen W. Gilman, Jr. and Lorrie Smith. NY: Garland Publishing, 1990. One of the first assessments of these poets as creators of a genre. First published in The Virginia Quarterly Review in 1987.

- - -  . War, Literature, & the Arts: W.D. Ehrhart: A Special Issue. 8:2 (W96).

---  . Unaccustomed Mercy: Soldier-Poets of the Vietnam War. Lubbock: Texas Tech UP, 1989. With a generous selection from 12 of the best poets, this book seems to have been distilled from (and perhaps designed to replace) more chaotic collections that included more (but sometimes less skilled) poets. The book-buying public disagreed: this one is out of print, the others thrive. Still, it's a gem.

Evans, George. Sudden Dreams: New & Selected Poems. Coffee House Press, 1991.

Felsteiner, John. "American Poetry and the War in Vietnam." Stand 19:02 (1978): 4-11.

Franklin, H. Bruce. Vietnam and Other American Fantasies. Amherst: U Massachusetts Press, 2000. A short and highly readable study of competing popular narratives of the war. Includes chapters on the Vietnam War in Hollywood, unfounded beliefs about the antiwar movement, 'the napalm campaign' in its hometown, the alternative press in 1968, and various struggles to control the meaning of the war since it ended, including an analysis of Star Trek as contextualized by the war.

Gettleman, Marvin E., et al., eds. Vietnam and America: A Documented History. NY: Grove Press, 1985. An essential anthology of sources, arranged chronologically. Includes government documents, an edited version of the 'Pentagon Papers,' documents of the anti-war movement, documents from the National Liberation Front, and much else.

Gotera, Vince and Theresa L. Brown. Poetry and the Vietnam War. Special issue of Journal of American Culture 16: 3 (Fall 1993). Includes essays on Komunyakaa, Weigl, D.F. Brown, Michael Casey, Robert Bly, Adrienne Rich, & Alan Ginsberg, plus Lorrie Smith writing on women Vietnam veteran poets. Essays by Bibby and Gotera include material later included in their books. Also includes some poetry.

Goluboff, Benjamin. "Strategies of Allusion in Poetry of the Vietnam War," in Gotera & Brown. 15-20.

Gotera, Vince. Radical Visions: Poetry by Vietnam Veterans. Athens: U Georgia, 1994. Perhaps the only full-length study. He examines the conflict between lyric and documentary modes and classes poets as Antipoetic, Aesthetic, or Cathartic -- the latter using techniques from the first two toward a confessional end. His book ends with chapters on Bruce Weigl and Yosef Komunayakaa as poets who transcend his categories by encompassing the psychology and the aesthetics of all three.

Hidalgo, Stephen P. "Agendas for Vietnam War Poetry: Reading the War as Art, History, Therapy, and Politics," in Gotera and Brown.

Jason, Philip. Fourteen Landing Zones: Approaches to Vietnam War Literature. Iowa City: U Iowa, 1991.

- - -  . Acts and Shadows: The Vietnam War in American Literary Culture. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000.

Komunyakaa, Yosef. Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems. U Press of New England, 1993.  

Levertov, Denise. The Freeing of the Dust. New Directions, 1975.

- - - .  The Sorrow Dance. New Directions, 1966.

- - - - . "On the Edge of Darkness: What Is Political Poetry?" Light Up the Cave. NY: New Directions, 1981. Also in Jones. Essay first published 1975.

- - - .  The Poet in the World. New Directions, 1973. Essays. See particularly Section II: Life at War.

Lowenfels, Walter. The Writing on the Wall: 108 American Poems of Protest.  Doubleday, 1969.

Mersmann, James F. Out of the Vietnam Vortex: A Study of Poets and Poetry Against the War. Lawrence: UP Kansas, 1974. Thematic analysis of 1960s poetry against the war, presented as integrated discussion of the full canons of four featured poets: Ginsburg, Levertov, Bly, & Robert Duncan.

Mahony, Philip, ed. From Both Sides Now: The Poetry of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath. NY: Scribner, 1998.

Merton, Thomas. “War and the Crisis of Language.” The Critique of War: Contemporary Philosophical Explorations, ed. Robert Ginsberg. Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1969.

Nelson, Cary. Our Last First Poets: Vision and History in Contemporary American Poetry. U Illinois, 1981. Opens with a chapter called "Whitman in Vietnam," then examines work by Theodore Roethke, Galway Kinnell, Robert Duncan, Adrienne Rich, & W.S. Merwin.

- - - .  Repression and Recovery: Modern American Poetry and the Politics of Cultural Memory, 1910-1945.  A meditation on how we make and remake our literary history, and a reading of works by potes now marginalized by memory, particularly women, African Americans, and leftists. Includes attention to graphic design in the presentation of poetic texts, and reproduces some stunning book jackets and art work. Should be required reading for the MFA in poetry.

Nguyen, Thanh T. & Bruce Weigl. Poems from Captured Documents. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1994. Many diaries and letters of killed or captured North Vietnamese and NLF soldiers contained poems. Here are a few of them.

Tal, Kali. Worlds of Hurt: Reading the Literatures of Trauma. Cambridge & NY: Cambridge UP, 1996. A cultural-political inquiry into the literary representation of the Holocaust, the Vietnam War, and sexual abuse of women and children. Examines three strategies of personal and cultual assimilation of traumatic experience: mythologization, medicalization, and disappearance. Includes a chapter on W.D. Ehrhart.

Walsh, Jeffrey and James Aulich, eds. Vietnam Images: War and Representation. Basingstoke & London: The MacMillan Press, 1989.

Weigl, Bruce. Song of Napalm. Atlantic Monthly Press, 1988. Collects his war poems published before that date.

Young, Marilyn. The Vietnam Wars: 1945-1990. NY: Harper Perennial, 1991. The best one-volume history of the wars and their political contexts. Decades of narrative, memoir, and primary sources are referenced and synthesized here and the bibliography is outstanding--though you will have to look for much of it in the footnotes. Written, like nearly all others, from an American point of view, and thus still a history of the war, not of Vietnam. Here's a review.

George Oppen

Altieri, Charles. "The Objectivist Tradition." Chicago Review 30:3 (W 1979): 9.

Cuddihy, Micheal, ed. Ironwood 26: George Oppen, A Special Issue. 1985.

Dembo, L.S. "Oppen on His Poems: A Discussion," in Hatlen

DuPlessis, Rachel Blau. "Objectivist Poetics and Political Vision: A Study of Oppen and Pound," in Hatlen.

Heller, Michael. "Conviction's Net of Branches," in Hatlen.

- - - .  "'Knowledge Is Loneliness Turning': Oppen's Going Down Middle-Voice," in Cuddihy.

Mottram, Eric. "The Political Responsibilities of the Poet: George Oppen," in Hatlen.

Oppen, George. New Collected Poems. NY: New Directions, 2002.

- - - - . "Letters to Rachel Blau DuPlessis." Ironwood 24 (1984).

- - - .  Selected Letters of George Oppen. Ed. Rachel Blau DuPlessis. Duke UP, 1990.

Hatlen, Burton, ed. George Oppen: Man and Poet. Orono, ME: National Poetry Foundation, 1981. Previously unpublished essays and interviews.

Hatlen, Burton and Tom Mandel. "Poetry and Politics: A Conversation with George and Mary Oppen,"  in Hatlen.

General Sources  /  World War I  /  World War II  /  Vietnam War  /  Oppen  /  Finlay  /  Back to Top

Ian Hamilton Finlay

Abrioux, Yves. Ian Hamilton Finlay: A Visual Primer. Revised Edition. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992.

Finlay, Alec. Wood Notes Wild: Essays on the Poetry and Art of Ian Hamilton Finlay. Edinburgh: Polygon, 1995.

- - - . "Stitch and Shadow." A discussion of Finlay's work in relation to that of Emily Dickinson and Susan Howe. Chapman 78-79 (date?): 125-134.

Finlay, Ian Hamilton & Ron Costley. Heroic Emblems. Introduction and commentaries by Stephen Bann. Calais Vermont: Z Press, 1977.

Scroggins, Mark. "The Piety of Terror: Ian Hamilton Finlay, the Modernist Fragment, and the Neo-Classical Sublime." Flashpoint Web Issue 1 (Spr 1997). http://www.flashpointmag.com/index1.htm
An excellent intoduction to Finlay in a literary context.

[More Finlay sources are listed on my Finlay page, though they may not relate directly to his work on war: http://mason.gmu.edu/~stichy/finlay.html ]

General Sources  /  World War I  /  World War II  /  Vietnam War  /  Oppen  /  Finlay  /  Back to Top