Posts Tagged ‘sonnet’

Tongue of War

The book arrived in the mail, unexpected. Return address BkMk Press. Oh yes, I remembered, one of those poetry manuscript competitions I entered ages ago, where they send all contestants a copy of the winning book. I opened it to skim, and was immediately reading it cover to cover. Tony Barnstone’s Tongue of War: from Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki, is the most powerful anti-war testament I have ever read. I’d like to quote B.H. Fairchild, who awarded this book the John Ciardi Prize:

“…It is written in forms, especially the sonnet, and of course the meter of those forms, the pulse of human feeling unable to name itself… The diction and syntax are often blunt with the exhaustion and terror of human voices—American and Japanese, soldiers and civilians—struggling to articulate the unspeakable, to make visible that to which we have learned to blind ourselves. …I cannot help but think that having read it, an American President who has himself been privileged to avoid the horrors of the battlefield might be less inclined to send young men and women off to face them.”