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By Jeffrey Walsh (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1349167487

ISBN-13: 9781349167487

ISBN-10: 1349167509

ISBN-13: 9781349167500

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P. 272) 28 American War Literature Cummings's old soldiers personalise the war, claiming inside knowledge and expertise, what Malcolm Cowley refers to as a part of the 'spectatorial attitude', as shown in the vers libre of the bigness of cannon is skilful, but i have seen death's clever enormous voice which hides in a fragility of poppies. '" i say that sometimes on these long talkative animals are laid fists of huger silence. I have seen all the silence filled with vivid noiseless boys at Roupy i have seen between barrages, the night utter ripe un speaking girls.

Dupee and George Stade when complemented by the poet's own novel, The Enormous Room, a fictionalised account of his imprisonment in a French transit camp, La Ferte Mace, at Orne. ) Cummings from the outset burlesqued the concept of war as holy cause, and he rejected both in his private life and in his poetry the rigorous moral code of the puritanical crusader figure as prescribed in the religious metaphors of such poets as Joyce Kilmer. Cummings's letters constantly ridicule solemnly held concepts of patriotism and heroism in combat (he frequently uses the term 'the front' in an ironic and disparaging manner, for example).

The metaphors current in the war years had been underpinned by an imagery of sacrifice that remained obdurate until well after the Armistice. An inquiry into the imaginative response of later writers to 'Armageddon' therefore demands from the critic an exegesis of the working of poetic language in action: particular poems need to be examined to demonstrate how the retrospection is formally structured. Such an enterprise will be attempted in the remaining part of the chapter which analyses several poems in great detail as case studies or foci where linguistic configurations may be located as an index of meaning.

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American War Literature 1914 to Vietnam by Jeffrey Walsh (auth.)

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