Nicole's Reviews > War Songs: Metaphors In Clay And Poetry From The Vietnam Experience

War Songs by Grady Harp
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's review
Jun 03, 09

Elegantly simple and highly accessible work of collaboration. Harp's poems are concise and precise--but they are also complex puzzles. We associate war with men, songs with merrymaking and children. The poems in WAR SONGS are far more complex than either, successfully blending the two associations to create a beautifully layered harmonic about the dual state many of America's soldiers in Vietnam occupied as men who were still children, as children who were on the verge of becoming, or would have become had they survived, men.

Freedman's sculptures, despite how enormous many of them are (six feet or more as far as I can ascertain) translate well to the page, and manage, despite being scaled down to fit the page, to overwhelm what Harp skillfully understates.

The book itself (design, layout, typeface, dog-tag embossed velum pages) is a sleek, gun-metal beauty. In lieu of bullets, impossibly, there is poetry.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Mark (new)

Mark For another great book about Vietnam, check out Kevin Bowen's Thai Binh from Pressed Wafer.

Nicole ...thanks, Mark. I will. Another one for the war category...not Vietnam, but WWI...Isaac Rosenberg. Can't remember name of the book/s though...

Grady Thank you for your beautiful thoughts, Nicole. I am humbled.

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