WW II era in poetry

November 12th, 2018

Tony Camarano/Associated Press

The Andrews Sisters (Laverne, Maxene and Patty), New York, 1945

 

 

Servicemen

by Robert Nisbet

 

‘Neath the old apple tree
You whispered to me,
When it blossomed again, you’d be mine
(Andrews Sisters recording, 1941)

That music, those sisters, they’re
gramophones and history,
they’re sentimental farmsteads
and the girl next ranch,
a round imagining away
from lust and war and loneliness.
Such chirpy songs, such friendly songs
they must have been (Hey, babe),
and these were horny matelots
and airmen who led with their urges.
Yes, many girls got laid, played Eve,
below the time’s apple trees.
Taken advantage of, maybe,

but by boys who could be dead within the year.

 

 

_____

 

 

 

Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet whose work has been published in roughly equal measures in Britain and the USA, in the latter case quite regularly in San Pedro River Review, Red River Review and Panoply, which made him one of its Editor’s Choice Featured Poets in their Fall 2017 issue.

 

 

 

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22 comments on “WW II era in poetry”

  1. “I Got Lena To Sing To Me,” by Aurora Lewis, is a first-rate poem which captures the angst of military service during wartime, along with the pleasure and relief provided by great music.

    1. Thank you so much Michael. Not being in the service and also not during wartime, I am so thankful that I was able to get my feeling across to my reader.

  2. Alan Yount’s poem “Smoking an Old Meerschaum Pipe” uses a careful attention to detail to tie together very disparate elements that come to fruition in the final stanza in a pleasing way for the reader.

  3. Both of Dan Smith’s poems are gentle in tone and attentive to detail. They capture fundamental truths about family relationships, and war’s effect on them.

  4. For Aurora Davis. I think your poem on Lena really captured what you could say was the “singing tone,” on war. I have always enjoyed your poems with JJM. Thanks for your comment on my poem.

  5. For Michael L. Newell. I liked your poem. It caught the “spirit” of the crooners. Being a trumpet player I have all of Harry James albums. He and Frank make some great music together. Frank did his eulogy in Las Vegas. By he way, I got your two latest books. Several of the poems have stayed on my mind. Also I can’t quit thinking I wish I had come up with the title: “Traveling Without Compass or Map.” What a great overall metaphor and title!

    1. Mr. Yount, I thank you for your kind words about my poem. I also thank you for your support of my books. Greatly appreciated. — MLN

  6. Wonderful poems by all. I especially enjoyed Dan Smith’s poems here. Artful…and with a deep, tangible sincerity that can only come from having lived and having felt with the heart of a poet.

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In This Issue

This issue features an interview with Bing Crosby biographer Gary Giddins; a collection of poetry devoted to the World War II era; and a new edition of “Reminiscing in Tempo,” in which the question “What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz recordings of the 1940’s” is posed to Rickie Lee Jones, Chick Corea, Tom Piazza and others.

Features

In this edition of Reminiscing in Tempo,, Chick Corea, Rickie Lee Jones, Tom Piazza, Gary Giddins, Randy Brecker, Michael Cuscuna, Terry Teachout and many others answer the question, “What are 3 or 4 of your favorite recordings of the 1940’s?”

Interviews

Interview with Bing Crosby biographer Gary Giddins, author of the new book "Swinging on a Star: The War Years, 1940 - 1946"

Poetry

Eight poets — John Stupp, Aurora Lewis, Michael L. Newell, Robert Nisbet, Alan Yount, Roger Singer, dan smith and Joan Donovan — write about the era of World War II

The Joys of Jazz

Award winning radio producer and host Bob Hecht shares his love of jazz through his podcasts on his site “The Joys of Jazz.” In this edition, he tells two stories; the history of the virtual anthem of World War II, “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and the friendship and musical rapport of Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong.

Short Fiction

Hannah Draper of Ottawa, Ontario is the winner of the 49th Jerry Jazz Musician New Short Fiction Award. Her story is titled "Will You Play For Me?"

Coming Soon

Three prominent scholars in a conversation about the lives of Billie Holiday, Ralph Ellison, and Langston Hughes (pictured)

Contributing writers

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