Published Authors

Words to Measure a War: Nine American Poets of World War II

by David K. Vaughan

This is a study of the war poetry of nine American men who served in World War II. The efforts of those who had established themselves as poets prior to or during the war (Karl Shapiro, Randall Jarrell, John Ciardi, and William Meredith) are compared with those whose poetic careers began after the war (Louis Simpson, James Dickey, Richard Hugo, Howard Nemerov, and Lincoln Kirstein). The military careers of these soldiers illuminate how their experiences affected the content as well as style of their poems. Each man’s poetry directly related to his involvement with the combat environment: the closer the combat experience, the more personal the poetry; the more distant the experience, the more detached the poetry.