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The follow-up to the number one bestseller, I Wrote This For You: simply The Words offers two times the variety of entries with over four hundred works from the across the world acclaimed poetry and images undertaking; together with a number of new and not earlier than obvious poems. whereas focussing at the phrases from the venture, new images launches each one part which painting everyone's trip during the international: Love stumbled on, Being In Love, Love misplaced, wish, depression, dwelling and death.

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Duncan suggests that poetic language – our now apparently anachronistic “delite” – acquires authenticity from the act of speaking against the language of war and thereby exposes the necessary “flaw” in an otherwise impeccably circular logic. As for Stein, the “flaw” is produced not just by seeing war but by seeing it through writing, an optic which also, as the Language poets would later confirm, allows us to see the writing itself. The assumptions at work here, shared in different ways by poets such as Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, George Oppen, and Louis Zukofsky, return us inevitably to the primary influence all four shared – Ezra Pound – who, when Duncan wrote these lines, was confined in St Elizabeth’s hospital, pending his eventual fitness to stand trial for treason.

New York: New Directions. Levinas, Emmanuel (1969). Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority, trans. Alphonso Lingis. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press. MacLeish, Archibald (1933). Poems 1924–1933. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. McAleavey, David (1985). “The Oppens: Remarks Towards Biography,” Ironwood, 26: 309–18. Mersmann, James F. (1974). Out of the Vietnam Vortex: A Study of Poets and Poetry Against the War. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. Merton, Thomas (1969).

Indeed, with World War II, it was the very question of distancing which became for many writers a primary concern. How and from where do we see a war? This is one of the conundrums posed by Gertrude Stein’s Wars I Have Seen, first published in 1945. It’s a title quite devoid of hyperbole: Stein was born in 1874, and her lifetime, as she reminds us, spanned the Spanish–American War, the Russo-Japanese War, the Boer War, the Chinese–Japanese War, the two Balkan wars, the Abyssinian War, the Spanish Civil War, as well as the two world wars (Stein 1945: 43, 64, 72).

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