Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Song of Napalm: Poems” as Want to Read:
Song of Napalm: Poems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Song of Napalm: Poems

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  131 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
“Song of Napalm is more than a collection of beautifully wrought, heartwrenching, and often very funny poems. It’s a narrative, the story of an American innocent’s descent into hell and his excruciating return to life on the surface. Weigl may have written the best novel so far about the Vietnam War, and along the way a dozen truly memorable poems.” — Russell Banks
Paperback, 70 pages
Published January 21st 1994 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Song of Napalm, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Song of Napalm

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
The internet swells with things you can't unsee. Images of murder, gore, torture, rape and cruelty (real or staged) lurk in the legion electronic corners.

A few years back I spent an hour exploring a forum thread devoted to this topic. The site is reputable, so the links came fitted with warnings and nothing potentially illegal was allowed. That still left room for scenes from z-grade horror films and the creepiest nature footage you can imagine (one link I didn't click promised a centipede eati
Jul 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Bruce Weigl’s Song of Napalm is another collection of poems dealing with the impact of the Vietnam War. Robert Stone says in the introduction, “Bruce Weigl’s poetry is a refusal to forget. It is an angry assertion of the youth and life that was spent in Vietnam with such vast prodigality, as though youth and life were infinite. Through his honesty and toughmindedness, he undertakes the traditional duty of the poet: in the face of randomness and terror to subject things themselves to the power of ...more
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
p.67 There are questions which/ people who have everything/ ask people who have nothing/ and they do not understand.

A collection of poems which highlights the horrors of war. Dark themes imbue the poems; cruelty and inhumanity take center stage.

The wide variety of poetic forms is one highpoint of the work. "Hand to Hand" is a prose poem, and not the only prose poem in the collection, while "Monkey" includes a scat rhythm and a collection of images and sing-song word combinations.

Multiple poems
Carolyne Mistake
Nov 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the first books of poetry I read on my own, that I found on my own and pulled from the shelf on a whim. It's a book of poems about the Vietnam War, and take place during the war and during the rehabilitation time afterwards. What I first loved about this book is it's unpoeticness, at least as I saw what "poetics" meant when I was 15 years old. It is raw and unapologetic, but at the same time willing to look past some anger directed at both sides and re-humanize the combatants and ...more
May 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I don't usually like free-form poetry very much, but occasionally I am swayed by certain poems whether I want to be or not. I liked this collection, most of them somehow relating to the experience during the Vietnam War, where the poet served in the late 1960s in the U.S> Army. Many of the poem have less to do with combat and more to do with experiences in the towns, with prostitutes, bar girls, and drugs. Oddly, there seems to be a fondness for this world, it seems to me, eb]ven if there is ...more
Kelly Lynn Thomas
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read for my Vietnam Travel Seminar. The poems in this collection depict both life for a soldier in Vietnam (fear of mines, some of the horrible things seen/done, some regular things) and the narrator's attempts to reintegrate into society after he gets home.

Each poem hits you like a bullet. It's a short book. You should read it.
Mar 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Having recently read A Rumor of War, all the imagery of the war in the poetry complimented perfectly to the descriptions of what American soldiers were experiencing in the war. The poems dealt with the savagery and the debauchery and the fear of the war. They were interesting, but poetry is just not my genre.
Scott Service
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very moving book of poems by a very talented man. I had to put it down on numerous occasions because of how powerful it was, taking me right into my own war experiences, and ultimately I couldn't help but be moved to tears. Anyone interested in knowing more about a war veteran's experience and the impact its had should read this.
Cindy Light
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
The title jumped out at me while browsing at 1/2 price books one day. Thin little book of poems mostly about the author's personal journey while fighting in Vietnam. There are several poems in here that i really like a lot. If the voice feels authentic, then I usually find something that I can appreciate, if not happily absorb.
Ross Ritchell
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly powerful. A gift, a joy.
Amy Kitchell-Leighty
Oct 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
So powerful...brilliant.
Scott Holstad
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Excellent poems by a Vietnam vet. Not as gut punching as Bill Shields, but more mature, more "poetic," if you will. Good stuff...
Jun 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Haunting poems from a man who survived a war, but like anyone who has been in combat, left part of his soul behind.
rated it it was amazing
Aug 21, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jan 17, 2009
Mars Yuvarajan
rated it really liked it
Apr 30, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Feb 20, 2008
rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2008
rated it it was amazing
Nov 23, 2008
rated it it was amazing
Dec 12, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2010
rated it really liked it
Sep 19, 2007
rated it really liked it
Feb 29, 2012
Doug Mcvay
rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jun 01, 2008
Peter Oresick
rated it liked it
Jan 23, 2013
Steve Gehrke
rated it really liked it
Aug 20, 2012
George Siehl
rated it really liked it
Aug 23, 2014
Isadora Wagner
rated it liked it
May 12, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »