Sunday, April 30, 2006

Books

One Reason Not to Join The Military. You may be ordered to kill civilians. By Paul Rockwell, Metro Santa Cruz. Article is adapted from the forthcoming book 10 Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military, edited by Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg, published by New Press.

A Marine who recognizes the humanity of the people whose country is under occupation makes an ineffective killer. Repelled by the indiscriminate carnage, the visible suffering of the Iraqi people, who only deserved to be left alone by outside powers, Jimmy repudiated the war. He refused to participate in apparent war crimes. He defied authority, and his commander called him a coward and put him under a "kind of house arrest." Jimmy, a real fighter, eventually won his honorable discharge.

Poetry

Some Poet. In the 50 years since his first book was published, John Ashbery has led the avant garde"s poetry coup d"etat. By Andrew Varnon. Valley Advocate.

Today, with formalist poet Dana Gioia as head of the National Endowment for the Arts and Nebraskan poet Ted Kooser the Poet Laureate of the United States, there is again a call for accessible poetry. I asked Ashbery about this. "I myself have always enjoyed things that it seemed to me were inaccessible, that have the promise of giving you something that you have to work hard to find out what it is," he said. "I like the challenge of, say, Proust or even Gertrude Stein, to use one of the most obvious examples, rather than poetry or literature which is all available at one viewing or reading."