From Both Sides Now: The Poetry of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath.When it does not tend toward the maudlin maud·lin
Effusively or tearfully sentimental: "displayed an almost maudlin concern for the welfare of animals" Aldous Huxley. See Synonyms at sentimental. , war poetry often explores politically troublesome and artistically dubious tuff. That's why it came as such a pleasant surprise that the finest poetry anthology of 1998 was From Both Sides Now: The Poetry of the Vietnam War Vietnam War, conflict in Southeast Asia, primarily fought in South Vietnam between government forces aided by the United States and guerrilla forces aided by North Vietnam. and Its Aftermath (Scribner, 1998). Edited by Philip Mahony, an adjunct teacher of poetry at New York University New York University, mainly in New York City; coeducational; chartered 1831, opened 1832 as the Univ. of the City of New York, renamed 1896. It comprises 13 schools and colleges, maintaining 4 main centers (including the Medical Center) in the city, as well as the and a seventeen-year veteran of the New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. Police Department, From Both Sides Now gathers Western poets--Grace Paley, Allen Ginsberg, Margaret Atwood, Denise Levertov, and W.S. Merwin--and the unknown Vietnamese orphans, soldiers, widows, and priests into a vibrant chorus of voices.
Mahony's anthology takes on something of a narrative character as it traces the great events of the war in poems from divergent perspectives. Le Dan's "Child of My Lai" shares the common language of experience with Richard Ryan's "From My Lai the Thunder Went West," and former U.S. Air Force pilot Walter McDonald's "After the Fall of Saigon The Fall of Saigon (in Vietnamese: Sự kiện 30 tháng 4 - in English: April 30 Incident or Giải phóng miền Nam - in English: The Liberation of the South " is juxtaposed jux·ta·pose
tr.v. jux·ta·posed, jux·ta·pos·ing, jux·ta·pos·es
To place side by side, especially for comparison or contrast. with Hanoi-born Nguyen Chi Thien's "As Those Americans Flee."
In many senses, this book is more history than standard poetry anthology. It tells the story of the war, about which Thich Nhat Hanh, the poet who chaired the Buddhist Peace Delegation at the Paris Peace Talks, wrote: "Whoever is listening, be my witness: I cannot accept this war. I never could, I never will. I must say this a thousand times before I am killed."
John Nichols is the editorial page editor for The Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin.