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Song of Napalm by Bruce Weigl

By MPL Staff on Jun 18, 2014 10:05 AM

The Vietnam War is over. But is it? After experiencing Bruce Weigl’s collection of poems titled Song of Napalm, I realized that the war is still very much alive in the minds of some folks who participated. Weigl, an Army veteran and recipient of the Bronze Star, uses vivid language and imagery to share his feelings of pain, loss and personal hell.  This is potent stuff.

In Girl at the Chu Lai Laundry, wet clothes can’t impede a convoy from leaving on time and The Last Lie hauntingly revisits a soldier throwing cans of C rations like baseballs at starving children. In a scant 91 words, the short poem Mines exudes fear and hopelessness to such an extent that I read it again hoping I’d feel better after a second reading. I didn’t.

Poetry should spark emotions and inspire thought. This collection does that while educating the inexperienced about the horrors of Vietnam.

Dan @ Central

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