Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Poetry and the army

The New York Times has an article this morning about an unusual National Endowment for the Arts program that is working with the armed forces to encourage soldiers to become writers.

Now, the question is, what will be the result of such a project? Will we get autobiographies, or will we get the next Wilfred Owen?

For by my glee might many men have laughed,
And of my weeping something had been left,
Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled,
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
I'm guessing the military's hoping for the biographies and the novels--the next Red Badge of Courage, not the next "Strange Meeting." But that's just a hunch.


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