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Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting

Poems

by Kevin Powers

Hardcover, 96 pages, Little Brown & Co, List Price: $23 |

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Title
Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting
Subtitle
Poems
Author
Kevin Powers

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NPR Summary

An Iraq war veteran, National Book Award finalist and author of The Yellow Birds offers poems capturing the life of a soldier, including waiting in the dusty Middle Eastern heat and writing a love letter back home.

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Excerpt: 'Letter Composed During A Lull In The Fighting'

"Customs"

Amen may have meant "to begin"
back then. So be it, the desert, I imagine,
said. So be it, as the car I'm traveling in
turns right on state highway 71,
due west into the vast unending waste
of Texas.

Now it only lets us know that things are at an end,
among them is the sun hung out
to dry any echo of my voice that would survive
the turbines' spinning blades
as we drift through the windmill field
and on into Old Mexico.

We passed the welcome sign
five miles ago. Another crossing
missed. On some naked mountainside
a small signal fire is lit. I can tell you exactly
what I mean. It is night again and endless
are the stars. I can tell you exactly
what I mean. The world has been replaced
by our ideas about the world.