POETRY OF WAR
To The Best of Our Knowledge
from Wisconsin Public Radio
For years poet and novelist Alice Walker told her
friends she'd probably never write again. But the events of September
11 changed all that. And the poetry flowed. In this hour of To
the Best of Our Knowledge, Alice Walker on the role of the poet
in a time of war. Also, Iraqi poetry today. And, the poetry of soldiers
during World War II.
Alice Walker talks with Jim Fleming about
some of the poems in her book "Absolute Trust in the Goodness
of the Earth," inspired by the events of September 11th.
And she reads some of the poems. She also reads the text of a
children's book she's working on called "Why War Is Never
A Good Idea." To read the selections, go to our
Poems page. Also, Andrew Carroll directs the Legacy
Project, which is dedicated to preserving war-time correspondence.
He also organized pocket-sized "Armed Services Editions"
of several books and distributed them to American troops. Carroll
tells Anne Strainchamps which books he chose and why, and explains
the Pentagon's role in the selection process. If you would like
to suggest a book for the Legacy Project, click here: http://www.warletters.com/book/asedition.html
John Balaban performed alternative service
in Vietnam during the war there. While helping children injured
in the fighting, he grew to love the traditional sung poetry of
rural Vietnam. He made field recordings, which we hear along with
Balaban's translations. He's also the editor and translator of
a book called "Ca Dao Vietnam: Vietnamese Folk Poetry."
To read the selections, go to our
Poems page. Also, Harvey Shapiro is the editor of a
collection called "Poets of World War II." He was a
gunner himself during the war. He reads several poems from his
book and talks about the poets' experience. To read the selections,
go to our Poems page.
Saadi Simawe spent six years in an Iraqi
prison for publishing verse opposed to Saddam Husssein's Bath
party. Now he's an exile and teaches at Grinnell College in Iowa.
He's the editor of a book called "Iraqi Poetry Today."
Simawe talks with Anne Strainchamps and some of the poems in his
book are read by Jim Fleming. To read the poetry, go to our Poems
Cassette copies are available
at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 03-04-06-A.
- John Balaban, trans., Ca Dao Vietnam: Vietnamese
Folk Poetry (Copper Canyon)
- Saadi Simawe, ed., Modern Poetry in Translation
No. 19: Iraqi Poetry Today (Modern Poetry Today)
- Harvey Shapiro, ed., Poets of World War
II (The American Poets Project, 2) (Library of America)
- Alice Walker, Absolute Trust in the Goodness
of the Earth: New Poems (Random House)
Armed Services Editions:
- Andrew Carroll, ed, War Letters: Extraordinary
Correspondence from American Wars
- Allen Mikaelian, Medal of Honor: Profiles of America's
Military Heroes from the Civil War to the Present
- William Shakespeare, Henry V
- Sun Tzu, The Art of War
- "Mars, the Bringer of War." Gustav Holst.
The Planets. Telarc
- "Exchange." Massive Attack. Mezzanine.
- Untitled. Dead Can Dance. Spiritchaser. 4AD Records.
- "We'll Meet Again." Peggy Lee
and Benny Goodman. Freedom: Songs from the Heart of America. Columbia
- Ariadne. Dead Can Dance. Dead Can Dance.
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