By Jeffrey Walsh (auth.)
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In the course of the Vietnam warfare, thousands of yankee prisoners-of-war confronted years of brutal stipulations and awful torture by the hands of North Vietnamese guards and interrogators who ruthlessly plied them for army intelligence and propaganda. made up our minds to keep up their Code of behavior, the POWs built a robust underground resistance.
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Cummings at Harvard. The twenty-year old Cummings, in theorising about 'The New Art', ostentatiously fermented examples from beyond literature and showed a familiarity with the work (among others) of Brancusi, Schoenberg, Satie, Duchamp and Stravinsky. Cummings'S models extended to the literary avant-garde also and he soon became familiar with the principles of Imagism and with the poetry and theory of Ezra Pound. For Cummings, as he began to make his reputation in the 1920s, the earlier literati, whose rhetoric was dependent upon a dramaturgy of sacrifice, were discredited as spokesmen for the generation that had profited financially from the war.
His early inoperative war poems pictorialise his aimless leisure as a young recruit waiting to be shipped to Europe; Bishop romanticises his slightly erotic visions in a strained fin-de-silxle mode, as in these lines from 'February 1917': Poetic Language: First World War 37 ... all my nights are filled with a violet-blue dusk of dreams, And through the dusk, The ripple of silk over white flesh And the wistful eyes of immortal women. 21 As this extract suggests, Peale Bishop apprehended the war conventionally in his poems of 1917, and his stylised and prescriptive metaphors grandly verbalise the challenge that he believed his country was facing.
The theory is set out poetically in 'Poem, or Beauty Hurts Mr Vinal' from Is 5 (1926). Here his persona explicates a contempt for debased poetic language when he likens ennervated 'unspontaneous' verse to the verbal corruptions of slogan makers and advertisers: ... i do however protest, anent the un -spontaneous and otherwise scented merde which greets one (Everywhere Why) as divine poesy per that and this radically defunct periodical. i would suggest that certain ideas gestures rhymes, like Gillette Razor Blades having been used and reused to the mystical moment of dullness emphatically are Not To Be Resharpened ....
American War Literature 1914 to Vietnam by Jeffrey Walsh (auth.)