Michele Buchanan “Poetry of Annihilation: World War II Poetry from the Western Front” 2010

Michele Buchanan

Peace and Justice Studies Capstone

3 May 2010

Poetry of Annihilation: World War II Poetry from the Western Front

World War II came down hard on the nations involved, and even the nations who were neutral. War is a cruel experience unique to humanity which affects soldiers and citizens, children and the elderly, the innocent and the instigators. The experience of war gave birth to a huge collection of poetry, as many unique and terrible experiences do. This paper will focus specifically on poetry of the Second World War on the western front from the countries of Germany, Great Britain, and the United States. Allied poetry will be compared to German citizen poetry, as well as Holocaust survivor poetry. One difference between the Allies’ poetry and the German poetry is who they discuss in their poems to convey their message: the American and British poems tend to focus on one specific soldier, person, or scene, while the German and Holocaust survivor poems talk in larger, more general terms. As shown by all of the poems in this essay, the main themes involve largely anti-war ideas and emotions such as hopelessness, agony, and emptiness. The poems of the survivors of the Holocaust are the ultimate anti-war poems. The subject of genocide is almost unreachable through language, but somehow language is the one resilient aspect of the horrors of war, just as the human race has survived through each war with both loss and hope.

The British poet Keith Douglas has a particularly haunting way of describing the horrors of individual pain and suffering while at the same time giving it universal meaning. In his poem, “Vergissmeinnicht”, he talks about an Allied soldier finding a dead German soldier three weeks after his death:

But she would weep to see to-day

how on his skin the swart flies move;

the dust upon the paper eye

and the burst stomach like a cave (Douglas, 267).

The German soldier has a picture of his girlfriend who is the ‘she’ in the poem. The Allied soldier doesn’t seem saddened by the soldier’s death until he finds the picture of his girlfriend. The “burst stomach like a cave” would be gruesome to the girlfriend, but seems almost trivial, just another dead German to the soldier. However, the fact that this poem was written is a testament to the Allied soldier’s memory of the horror of the German soldier’s appearance, as well as the agony his girlfriend would feel if she saw her lover in this state. The poem’s overall theme is the horror of the war as experienced by soldiers and their families. Steffi’s loss of her soldier lover is representative of the loss felt by families and loved ones at home, as well as the loss a soldier felt when a comrade died. This poem is universal because readers can relate, if not feel directly, what if would be like to lose a lover or a best friend or family member and how terrible it would be to find them with their “stomach like a cave.”

The last stanza is about the individual experience of war as represented by the soldier. It also raises moral issues, as most war poetry does. The soldier is made up of two different “people”: “For here the lover and the killer are mingled/who had one body and one heart” (Douglas, 267). Each soldier in the war was a lover of someone: family member, friend, or fiancée. However, soldiers are also killers by job description. Douglas was specifically pointing out the oddity that those two opposites can dwell in one body. The last two lines play with the definitions of lover, soldier, and killer: “And death who had the soldier singled/has done the lover mortal hurt” (Douglas, 267). The “killer” has been switched out for “soldier” and death has made him into just a killer, as the Allied soldier sees him. The poet has also switched “soldier” for “lover”, which shows only the lover part of the man lives on because of his loved ones. The killer part of him dies because he is not remembered in that way. Even though the lover lives on, the death of the soldier/killer has still been lost. He can never go home, which hurts the lover and the loved ones still alive.

In another poem by Keith Douglas, entitled “Enfidaville”, the scene of a bombed village is the main focus. The church images throughout the poem are very effective. The people who “moved like candles” are the innocent citizens of Enfidaville, as the images of the church suggest. One of the main themes of the poem is the destruction of civilian populations and the moral offense that act holds. The destruction of the church in town also holds to the same moral offense. A place of worship should not be the target of a bombing: “The detonations of the last few days/tore down the ornamental plasters/shivered the hands of Christ” (Douglas, 122). These three lines are particularly powerful because the destruction of a church implies the destruction of morals and of humanity because religion and morality are unique to humanity. The idea of anything shivering “the hands of Christ” is extremely suggestive and moving. Christ is the foundation and the reason for existence of Christianity and the bombings shook the painting of Christ literally, while war shook the foundation of Christianity and humanity. War is such a powerful force that it can shake the foundations of religion.

Another powerful line talks about the houses of the village: “The white houses are bare black cages” (Douglas, 122). The image of the white houses becoming black, or being defiled, goes back to the church imagery of innocence and its destruction. The idea of home is also destroyed by the bombings. The houses are turned into cages. These “bare black cages” are symbolic because their residents are tied to their homes even though all that is left are charred outlines of houses. They also symbolize the citizens stuck in the middle of a war without any way out, like being in a cage.

The image in the third stanza of the daylight coming through the town is both effective and strong:

Now the daylight coming in from the fields

like a labourer, tired and sad,

is peering among the wreckage, goes

past some corners as though with averted head

not looking at the pain this town holds,

seeing no one move behind the windows (Douglas, 122).

The daylight appears to live in the town and is trying not to be too affected by the damage. The “labourer” is effective because it recalls the labors of war and how they make both soldiers and citizens sad and tired. This stanza conveys the deep sadness and emptiness of the war, especially in the last two lines because “daylight” is avoiding the pain the small town holds and it sees no one move behind the windows of the “black cages” or the former homes. There is so much loss conveyed in the stanza that the final stanza is almost hopeful in comparison. Even though the town is in ruins, the citizens are hopeful that they’ll find a piece of their home in the debris:

a bed or a piano and carrying it out.

Who would not love them at this minute?

I seem again to meet

The blue eyes of the images in the church (Douglas, 123).

A bed and a piano are two items that are sentimental to many people. A bed is where the family members sleep and the piano is a place of gathering and source of beauty in the home. This shows that even in the midst of tragedy, beauty can be found. This idea is also present in the last three lines of the stanza when the narrator meets the blue-eyed images in the church in the eyes of the survivors searching hopefully for pieces of their lives before the war.

The American poetry of World War II is similar to the British poetry of that era. It focuses on an individual experience or scene. Randall Jarrell is one of the most well-known American World War II poets. His poem, “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” focuses on an individual soldier’s experience of his time as a ball turret gunner. It’s a short poem—only five lines long—but conveys its meaning well. The soldier talks about his death in the airplane and being thrown into the war from the comfort of home. The metaphor of an animal as a soldier works well: “From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,/And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze” (Jarrell, 277). Soldiers had to live like animals during the war. They often had to live in dirty, cold conditions and there were shortages of clothing, food, and ammunition. It also works because of how flying “six miles from the earth, loosed from its dream of life” would make a person feel like they’ve been thrown into a cold hell. The contrast between the “mother’s sleep” and being “six miles from the earth” shows this. A mother’s sleep is comfortable, warm, and where a baby comes from. These lines represent the difficulty of being away from home and having to fight, starve, and freeze until one is dead, wounded, or the war is over. The last few lines of the poem reveal the truth of war and its lack of mercy. The soldier has been ripped away from home and is woken up in a nightmarish scene: “I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters./When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose” (Jarrell, 277). The metaphor of sleep and dreaming is effective in this poem. The soldier is stuck in a dream when he is still alive and when he awakens he realizes he is still in the dream, or the war, but it has become a nightmare when he comes face to face with German artillery. The last line of the poem conveys the repetition of and indifference to death during the war. The body of the gunner is found by the Germans and they just wash his body out. There is no grave marker, no feeling of regret or sadness. It is just another dead enemy. This line conveys the casual nature the death of anonymous soldiers takes on after months and years of fighting and seeing death every day.

Like Douglas’ “Vergissmeinicht”, Jarrell’s poem conveys universal ideas about one soldier’s experience with the war and death. Both poems deal with the horror of war and the shock of the pain involved. Both poems also bring in love from the soldiers’ families. Douglas talks about the German soldier’s girlfriend at home and Jarrell suggests the love of the gunner’s mother. These poems don’t just involve the soldier’s experience, but make the reader think about the soldier’s families and loved ones at home that had to suffer through the fear and at many times, loss of their loved one. The soldier described in each poem is made up of more than one person. In “Vergissmeinicht”, the soldier is both a lover and a killer. In “Death of a Ball Turret Gunner”, the soldier is both a child and a man. The reader gets the impression that the soldier is very young because he fell from his “mother’s sleep” into “the State.” One day he was happy and safe at home and the next day he was in uniform, in the turret of a plane facing German fighters. He had to leave his childhood and immediately become a man.

In contrast to the British and American poems, the German poetry talks more about the citizens as a whole or the whole event, not just a portion of an event. The theme of the war on both sides was to fight together, but the Germans seemed to have a heightened emphasis on this and on a more general experience of the war instead of talking about an individual’s experience to draw out a broader meaning. Ted Hirschfield focuses on the experience of being stuck in an air-raid shelter. This was an experience that most citizens had throughout the war, as well as soldiers and political leaders. “Air-Raid Shelter” also recalls larger ideas about societal issues: “The high-pitched warning of the bombs,/Our country’s own damn siren song” (Hirschfield, 26). The narrator is sick of war, but his government seems to be drawn to it during this century; war is the siren of the 20th century. It draws in men and destroys their countries, families, and bodies. The use of air-raids was first used during World War I and was increasingly used during WWII. The poem also deals with the constant fear or the air-raid attacks: “The detonator sounds at railroad crossings…They sound in routine traffic stops./And teakettles muffled in a scream” (Hirschfield, 26). At any time the warning siren would have gone off so citizens had to be ready for an attack at all times. The poem conveys how tiring that could be and how much fear was present in every town during the war. The routine had become running down the stairs into the shelter, always mixed with fear: “The footsteps mount up in the heart,/And down the well-worn cellar stairs” (Hirschfield, 26).

The most powerful lines in the poem talk about grabbing the kids and bringing them down into shelter: “The children are swept under arms/like shocks of wheat in final harvesting” (Hirschfield, 26). These lines come off as creepy. The “final harvesting” sounds like the last of the children are being taken to their final resting place or are going to be victims of the raid. The simile is a little strange, but also helps convey the children’s helplessness in the war. They have no say in what goes on and are taken by their families silently, like shocks of wheat. This is a universal occurrence when it comes to children during a war. Whether they were taken into an air-raid shelter, departed from their home country, or forced into a concentration camp, they all went silently and had no say.

Another important aspect of World War II poetry is the poetry of the survivors of the Holocaust. The act of writing poetry after the Holocaust was seen by some, such as German philosopher Theodor W. Adorno, to be “barbaric”. Words were not sufficient when describing the horrors of the death camps or the tragedies faced by the Jewish people under the hand of Nazi Germany. Even attempting to write poetry “after Auschwitz” was degrading to the people who had suffered in the camps. However, others believed that in order to overcome the trials they suffered through and to keep the memory alive of those who survived as well as those who didn’t, something must be written down or recorded. This side of war must be remembered, no matter how abhorrent it is; future generations will not have to endure the same tragedy and can prevent anything like the Holocaust from happening again.

Nelly Sachs is one of the most well-known Holocaust survivor poets. She writes in her native language, German, which gives each poem irony. Sachs’ poems are powerful, personal, and stretch into different experiences of different groups of people affected by the Holocaust. Her poem entitled “Chor der Waisen”, or “Chorus of the Orphans”, is a lament addressed to the world, sung by the children who were orphaned by Nazi Germany. The language has a childish wonder and melancholy curiosity about how the world would let the parents die. Lines 3-6 talk about the orphans’ destroyed families and histories: “Our branch has been cut down/And thrown in the fire—/Kindling was made of our protectors—/We orphans lie stretched out on the fields of loneliness” (Sachs, 29). The branch is the orphans’ family tree, but they are no longer connected to it because it has been “cut down and thrown into the fire”. Their protectors, or parents, have been made into kindling, which is a reference to the ovens at the concentration camps. The bodies of the parents are fueling Nazi Germany’s goals of annihilation of the Jewish race. The orphans lie on the “fields of loneliness” because there are no trees left, nothing to connect them to their families or to their homes. The field is vast and barren without the trees that have burned and died in the fires of the Nazis. The children are at a loss of where to go and what to do without their parents.

The orphans also experience visions and nightmares about their parents. Lines 9-12 exemplify the childish elements of the poem: “At night our parents play hide and seek—/From behind the black folds of night/Their faces gaze at us,/Their mouths speak” (Sachs, 29). In the children’s dreams, the parents speak to them. The childhood game of hide and seek is played “behind the black folds of night” or in their dreams and nightmares. The parents watch over their children and speak to them from dreams and nightmares, which continues in the next few lines: “Kindling we were in a woodcutter’s hand—/But our eyes have become angel eyes/And regard you,/Through the black folds of night/They penetrate—“ (Sachs, 29). The parents became kindling, like the poem mentions earlier, in a woodcutter’s hand, or Germany’s hand. Germany had complete control over their fate. When they died, they became guardian angels that watch over their children and speak to them through dreams. Their “angel eyes” seem more disturbing than comforting to the children. These angels visit them in the black folds of night and their eyes penetrate the darkness, which conjures up a creepy image rather than a warm, soothing one.

The next part of the lament discusses when the children use stones as toys:

Stones have become our playthings,

Stones have faces, father and mother faces

They wilt not like flowers, nor bite like beasts—

And burn not like tinder when tossed into the oven— (29).

Stones are traditionally used to show remembrance of a loved one in the Jewish tradition. Stones are placed on gravesites, as opposed to flowers, because they last forever. When the orphans use stones as playthings that have “father and mother faces” they are imagining their parents are still alive and will live forever. This is the only way they can play with their parents again. Because the stones will “wilt not like flowers, nor bite like beasts” they will last as long as the children need them. The flowers are a reference to leaving flowers on a grave and the beasts are an imaginative way to reference the Nazis, who “bite” into the lives of the Jewish people and destroy many of them. Beasts are a more tangible, childlike explanation of who the Nazis are and what they are doing. The stones also “burn not like tinder”, which is a reference to line 5, which sets up the parents as kindling that was thrown into the fire. The stone parents will not wilt, burn, or die. Much like imaginary friends, the stones are used to help the kids cope with the loss of their parents, as well as the loss of their connection to their past.

The last section of this poem is arguably the most powerful as it addresses the world again:

World, why have you taken our soft mothers from us

And the fathers who say: My child, you are like me!

We orphans are like no one in this world any more!

O world

We accuse you! (Sachs, 31).

The children blame the world for letting the Holocaust happen. There was much disbelief about the sheer size of the murders, as well as denial of any knowledge of the camps. For example, the citizens of Weimar, a small city about three miles away from Buchenwald, claimed they knew nothing of the camps even though they could see the smoke coming from the chimney of the crematorium. During the war, some newspapers throughout the world reported on the camps and the mass killings of Jewish people, as well as other “degenerate” groups, but many people only scoffed because the scale of the Holocaust was too much to believe. The orphans in Sachs’ poem do not forgive them for these excuses. Their “soft mothers” were taken from them, leaving them comfortless and without warmth. Their fathers that claim them as their own are gone and like their family tree, the children lose their connection to the past. They do not know where they belong or where they are from. Their identity is lost and they belong to no one, which could mean they have no immediate family left, but also that the Jewish family is gone.

Another well-known Holocaust survivor poet is Paul Celan, who writes in German as his first language, as well as other languages such as Romanian. His poem entitled “Todesfuge”, or “Death Fugue” was originally written in Romanian and later translated into German and English. The poem is a look into the experience of a concentration camp. For his poem, Celan applied a musical form from the Baroque period called “fugue” in which one voice starts the piece and other voices enter as the first parts continue to create a complicated, layered piece (Bower). One reason Celan may have used this form in his poem other than its effectiveness and interest is one of the most famous fugue composers was Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach is one of the most well-known German composers of all time. Celan wanted to recall the contrast between German society’s tradition of intelligent, creative, influential people with the horror and ingenuity of the death camps. The line “Black milk of morning we drink you at night” is the main voice of the poem. This black milk represents the daily intake of horror the prisoners must endure at the camp. At night, they drink the “black milk of morning” because when they wake up, the camp will still be there. They drink it all day—at “dusktime”, “noontime”, and “dawntime” because the tasks and cruelty never end, they only cycle. Much of the poem is repeated with a haunting quality.

There are three central voices throughout the poem: the group of Jews working in the camp, the German overseer, and the duality of Margareta/Shulamite, who, like Celan, is both German and Jewish. The Jewish group must dig their own grave: “scoop out a grave in the sky where it’s roomy to lie” (Celan, et al.). Their grave is roomy because it represents heaven, where all the Jewish people who die will go. It is also a comparison to the stifling, cramped bunkers the Jews are forced to sleep while at the camp. Death was often seen as a relief from the suffering of the camps. The grave is in the sky because when the Jews are burned, they become smoke and float toward the sky.

The overseer seems to live a comfortable life on the camp. At night he writes letters nach Deutschland, to Germany, about the success of the camp and how the Jewish people are suffering and “cultivates snakes”, or spreads fear to both the Jewish population and rest of the world. He has power over the entire camp and all its prisoners: “…he whistles his dogs to draw near/whistles his Jews to appear starts us scooping a grave out of sand…he shoots you with leaden bullets his aim is true” (Celan, et al.). The fourth stanza is the clearest picture of the overseer whose “eyes are blue”: “He calls play that death thing more sweetly Death is a gang-boss aus Deutschland/he calls scrape that fiddle more darkly then hover like smoke in the air/then scoop out a grave in the clouds where it’s roomy to lie” (Celan, et al.). The musical aspect of fugue is addressed in this stanza, as it also recalls Germany’s long history of musicians juxtaposed with the unprecedented mass murder of Jews (and other groups). Death is a gang-boss because it is spread across Europe through Germany’s concentration and death camps, as well as from World War II. To the overseer, death is a sweet song played by the Jews. They must “scrape that fiddle more darkly” because as the war goes on, the horror of the camps gets worse as the Nazis start to lose power.

Finally, the final voice is the golden haired Margareta and ashen haired Shulamite. Margareta is a German (and Aryan) girl or woman, while Shulamite is a German Jewish girl or woman. They represent the German people that perished in the concentration camps and are essentially the same person. Margareta’s golden hair shows she is alive, but after going through the death camp, she becomes Shulamite, who is dead and has “ashen hair”.

Celan’s “Death Fugue” is a testament to the fact that it is not only possible to write poetry after Auschwitz, but necessary. “Death Fugue” was one of his earlier poems. As he got older, his poetry became shorter and less clear to the average reader. One such poem is “You seek asylum”. It reads like this:

You seek asylum

with the indissoluble

ancestral star—it will be

given you. Now

you outlive your second

life. (Celan, 189).

This poem is addressing those that lived through the Holocaust. It is actually an optimistic poem, and gives comfort to those who experienced the horror of the death camps or knew anyone who did. In every poem, each word is important, but especially one as short as this. The first line introduces the subject and lets the reader know what the “You” wants. The Jewish survivors want to find solace, comfort, and peace. They seek a safe haven, as well as sanity, as suggested by the word “asylum”. The second and third lines tell the reader where the survivors search for this comfort they are so desperate for: “with the indissoluble/ancestral star.” This star is the Star of David, the symbol that represents the Jewish faith. Many Jews find peace in their faith and with their God. The star, and therefore, their faith is eternal, never-ending, and cannot be destroyed. The Jewish people have been persecuted for their faith for almost 2,000 years. Although there had never been such a systematic mass murder of the Jewish people before, the Holocaust did not destroy the people or the faith, because God is eternal. The third and fourth lines reassure the people that God will give them asylum. Here, Celan is also trying to reaffirm faith in his own life, as well as in the lives of others that may be struggling with God because of what they went through during World War II.

The last few lines discuss how the survivors of the Holocaust have been given a second life because they lived through the reign of the Nazis. In the concentration camps, death was omnipotent. The prisoners had no freedom and were treated like sub-humans. Even if they didn’t die physically, their life was taken away. The liberation of the camps was like a rebirth, even if it took years for that fact to settle in after all the terrible experiences inside the camps and Nazi Germany. The Jews will outlive their new life because of the “indissoluble ancestral star”. Their God and their faith continue to live among the members of the community and will be spread throughout generations. Just as previous generations survived persecution throughout history, so too will the generation of the Holocaust. Their traditions and faith will be passed down to younger generations, just as it has been in the past. Even though some family members have perished, the memory of them will be passed down, as the history, culture, and faith of the Jewish people will be.

Each of the poems discussed in this paper conveyed the various tragedies of war either from the point of view of a soldier or a citizen, or a picture of a universal war scene found on both sides of the war.  The similarities are striking: the poets were all horrified by the war and its far-reaching terrors. Both Hirschfield’s poem “Air-Raid Shelter” and Douglas’ poem “Enfidaville” discuss the issue of harming civilians in wartime. Douglas’ poem seems more hopeful, which could be the effect of the Allied victory, depending on when the poem was written. Each of these poems is about the suffering of the innocent and raise moral issues that were considered in the Geneva Conventions after the war. The German poetry seems less graphic than the American and British poetry, especially Douglas’ “Vergissmeinicht” and the unforgettable “stomach like a cave”. Perhaps this is related to the outcome of the war. The Allies felt like they could be more “real” in their approach in order to educate the people about World War II and what they had seen. The Germans may have felt too guilty or that it was too soon to write about the horrors of battle, especially on topics such as the concentration camps. However, the Holocaust survivor poets were similar to the Allied poets because they wanted to try to show what they had gone through as individuals and as a group, even if words were difficult to come by. Paul Celan discussed language in his acceptance speech of the Bremen literature prize: “Only one thing remained reachable, close and secure amid all losses: language” (Celan, 34). Even with all Celan, Sachs, and the other Jews had gone through during the Nazi Germany’s reign, language was one thing that had remained.

Similarly, poetry had remained through all the horrors war caused each person who lived during World War II. Poetry has a history that reaches as far back as human experience and has survived all the wars and the horrors those wars have brought to those poets. It lets us speak and share our experiences, as Celan continues: “In this language [German] I tried, during those years and the years after, to write poems: in order to speak, to orient myself, to find out where I was, where I was going, to chart my reality” (Celan, 34). Poetry is an essential form of human expression, just as war is a universal experience. The poetry of World War II, as well as studying World War II on the western front while on my study abroad inspired me write my own reflection on war and the effects it has on soldiers and their families, as well as whole societies. The first poem, entitled “A Common Death: General George S. Patton” is about the irony of General George S. Patton’s death from injuries sustained in a car accident six months after the war had ended:

I was left with

no roses,

no kind bullet holes

in my side.


My death was as common

as my grave.

A car, not a gun.


I thought I knew you.

I had watched you my whole


take my men away,

but I underestimated your grip

on me.


The bulge of death took them away

with icy hands

that melted only

when they touched me

one year later.


I was left with

no roses,

no bullet holes,

and no heroic gun.

My second poem, entitled “At the American Cemetery in Normandy: Looking to the Ocean”, is a reflection on walking around the American Cemetery in Normandy and trying to imagine Omaha Beach on D-Day and what it would feel like to experience that battle as a soldier. It is also about the importance of remembering the young soldiers who died for their country and for the good of the greater world:

A tree stands near the edge

with miniature crosses and stones like uneven teeth

in its open-mouthed knot,

singing songs of remembrance


for a boy in uniform

lying on Omaha beach,

his face made of soft curves,

not Roman angles and cheekbones.


Below the cliff,

the ocean’s turquoise locks crash

white on the shoulders

of the beachhead.


His body is caressed

by the wet blue strands of the Atlantic,

with thousands of his brothers next to him,

like heavy stones on the shoulders of France.

Although I don’t know anyone who was directly involved in World War II, learning about the experiences of the soldiers, citizens, and societies of the era, as well as following the path of General Patton made me feel a small part of the sorrow and horror of war. Reading the poetry of the era inspired me to perpetuate the human act of writing poetry.

Each poem examined in this paper is concerned with portraying the horrors of war, both World War II and war in general. The war poetry of the Second World War could be defined as anti-war poetry. In Brain Murdoch’s book, “Fighting Songs and Warring Words”, he discusses what World War II poetry’s purpose was and how it changed war poetry forever: “The sole function of war poetry is seen to be that of reflecting events of the wars in order to convey to the audience that war is unacceptable” (Murdoch, 2). Ultimately, the poetry of the Second World War is concerned with the moral issues of war, as shown through the graphic death and lover at home in “Vergissmeinicht”, the citizens searching through the debris of their homes and the destruction of the church in “Enfidaville”, the end of innocence and indifference to the ball turret gunner’s death in “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner”, and the children and citizens’ constant fear of air-raids in “Air-Raid Shelter”. Nelly Sachs’ “Chorus of the Orphans” and Paul Celan’s “Death Fugue” show the struggles and horrors faced by those in the concentration camps, as well as the loss of freedom and life. The war poets of the Second World War are more like the protestors of the Vietnam War down the road. They understand the horror war holds and how humanity does not and should not have to be put through war, no matter what side one is on.


Works Cited

Bower, Michael. Baroque Period 1600-1750. Capistrano School, n.d. Web. 1 May 2010.

Celan, Paul. “Death Fugue.” Trans. Jerome Rothenberg. Poets.org. The Academy of American     Poets. Web. 17 Apr 2010.

Celan, Paul. “Speech on the Occasion of Receiving the Literature Prize of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.” Speeches. 33-35. Print.

Celan, Paul. “You seek asylum.” Schneepart. Trans. Ian Fairley. Riverdale-on-Hudson, NY: The   Sheep Meadow Press, 2007. 188-189. Print.

Douglas, Keith. “Enfidaville.” 122. Print.

Douglas, Keith. “Vergissmeinnicht.” The Oxford Book of War Poetry. ed. Jon Stallworthy. New   York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2003. 267. Print.

Hirschfield, Ted. German Requiem: Poems of the War and the Atonement of a Third Reich            Child. St. Louis, Missouri: Time Being Books, 1993. Print.

Jarrell, Randall. “The Death of a Ball Turret Gunner.” The Oxford Book of War Poetry. ed. Jon     Stallworthy. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2003. 277. Print.

Murdoch, Brian. Fighting Songs and Warring Words: Popular Lyrics of Two World Wars.             London and New York: Routledge, 1990. Print.

Sachs, Nelly. O The Chimneys: Selected Poems, including the verse play, Eli. Trans. Hamburger,   Michael, Christopher Holme, Ruth and Matthew Mead, and Michael Roloff. New    York:   Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1967. Print.

Stallworthy, Jon, ed. The Oxford Book of War Poetry. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc,   2003. Print.


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