Sunday, July 29, 2007

Here, Bullet

Poet and soldier. Those two nouns usually don't march down the road hand in hand. But in the case of Brian Turner, author of Here, Bullet, (Alice James Books, 2005) both are apt descriptions. If you want a book that vividly paints a word picture of the Iraq war, then I highly recommend this collection of poems. In the classroom I would use it as a read- aloud so that I could pick the poems appropriate to my group of students. The poems are intense and require maturity in the reading audience. Here is a sample from the poem, "Iraqi Policemen":

The explosion left a hole in the roadbed

Large enough to fit a mid-sized car.

It shattered concrete, twisted metal,

busted storefront windows in sheets

and lifted a BMW chassis up onto a rooftop.

The shocking blood of the men

forms an obscene art: a moustache, alone

on a sidewalk, a blistered hand's gold ring

still shining, while a medic, Doc Lopez,

pauses to catch his breath, to blow it out

hard, so he might cup the left side of a girl's face

in one hand, gently, before bandaging

the half gone missing.

This book would be a great supplement for a high school language arts class on the importance of word choice, or for those of you who teach history, social studies, or government and need to supplement your curriculum with reading activities.

1 comment:

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

Check out this book - Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq during World War II (written in 1943).

Its Amazon sales rank is 140 on August 10, one day after it was featured on NPR's All Things Considered! Wonder how it ranked on August 8?

(Sorry I don't know how to create links in comments so I'm just cutting and pasting!)

Anyway - this book is about etiquette and respect for Iraqi culture. More food for thought and classroom discussion!

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