Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry Of Witness

Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry Of Witness

Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness

This landmark anthology, the first of its kind, takes it impulse from the words of Bertolt Brecht: "In these dark times, will there also be singing? / Yes, there will be singing. / About the dark times."

Bearing witness to extremity―whether of war, torture, exile, or repression―the volume encompasses more than 140 poets from five continents, over the span of this century from the Armenian genocide to Tiananmen Square.

From Publishers Weekly
This large volume assembles the work of nearly 150 poets, all marked in some direct way by the century's wars or devastations. Many of the poets did not survive these conflicts--some painfully perfect works by the Hungarian Miklos Radnoti were exhumed with his body from a mass grave in 1946--and others survived only to commit suicide later on. As an anthologist, poet Forche ( The Country Between Us ) vows to present a "poetic memorial to those who suffered and resisted through poetry itself," rather than to propose a "canon" of their works, but her book honors both intentions. Apart from the voices' high moral ground, the common preference for laconic understatement is notable; objectified horrors seem to expunge...

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