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Himes, Andrew, ed. Voices in Wartime: The Anthology, A Collection of Narratives and Poems.

HIMES, Andrew, ed. Voices in wartime: the anthology; a collection of narratives and poems. Whit Press (Hugo House, 1634 Eleventh Ave, Seattle WA 98122). 235p. illus. c2005.0-972-02053-5. $17.95. SA

A b/w photo with a short bio introduces each author of these poems, essays and interviews excerpted from the documentary film of the same title. Among the most familiar are Homer, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, and Alan Seeger, who at age 28 wrote "I Have a Rendezvous With Death," moments before he fell in a fatal flurry of machine-gun fire. Lesser-known poets, soldiers, doctors, war correspondents, and civilians offer their firsthand experiences, resulting in a chilling look at combat and its aftermath from many angles, spanning history and the globe. Post-traumatic stress disorder (defined as "not an illness but an injury"), the grief of a child for her "momentary father," who came home from WW II only to be "missing in action" emotionally for the rest of his life, and a journalist's battle with fear are among the many facets of war explored.

Perhaps the most eloquent contributor is a fourth-grade student at a Michigan school, who in 2001 summarized his view of war in these words: "If you are lucky in this life / A window will appear on a battlefield between two armies / And when the soldiers look into the window / They don't see their enemies / They see themselves as children I And they stop fighting / And go home and go to sleep / When they wake up, the land is well again." With its unflinching look at the toll war exacts from its victims, this slim volume points the way toward whatever healing may be possible. Jessica Swam, Cataloger, Cherry Creek Schools, Denver, CO
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Author:Swaim, Jessica
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 2006
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