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Thursday, November 10, 2016

LEST WE FORGET - A REVIEW

I just reviewed a book of war poetry by Brian Porter, British author. It's a gritty and realistic portrayal of war from a British viewpoint. Porter doesn't sugarcoat war nor does he glorify it. 

5 STARS. 

LEST WE FORGET: AN ANTHOLOGY OF REMEMBRANCE





War poetry for the history afficionado told from a British point of view -- my favorite poems in this collection are Postcard from Stalingrad and Letter to a Loved One, both of which bring into the pale light of afteryears a woman's perspective. I know there were many brave women who joined each conflict, and were conscripted during WWII as WRNs and WAAF and so on in England, but they are not included in this gritty collection of war stories. I especially noted the inclusion of German young soldiers and airmen, who, like the Allieds, had no choice but to fight and perhaps die for their country's call. As someone whose father served in WW II and returned to Canada with PTSD or "shell shock" as it was called back then, I can appreciate the realism of the bloody mess that war is, and Porter has not tried to sugarcoat nor glorify war. It's a unique collection of snapshots of war that presents the reality and comradeship, necessity and ultimate futility of the battle. For American readers, the Vietnam War was a uniquely American conflict and not represented in this collection. The Royal Navy and RAF are heavily represented and bomb demolition experts, as well as, interestingly, one poem written from a Japanese point of view, a Kamikaze pilot who survived with lifelong guilt for surviving. The letters home are particularly well done, I thought. Something to remember on this evening of November 11, when some of us wear poppies and many still mourn for loved ones or comrades lost in yet another senseless war, as Porter points out, fought by young men and women and orchestrated like chess pieces by old generals. Some real gems in this collection -- which rhymes!
Lest We Forget: An Anthology Of Remembrance by [Porter, Brian L.]

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