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Private Perry and Mister Poe: The West Point Poems, 1831 Hardcover – Facsimile, June 1, 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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About the Author

A field artillery major in the United States Army's 4th Infantry Division, William F. Hecker (1968--2006) was an assistant professor of English at the United States Military Academy. He died serving his country in Iraq.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: LSU Press; Facsimile edition (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807130540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807130544
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,215,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
What Hecker has put together here is more than just a facsimile edition of Poe's early West Point poems; calling it a poetry anthology is insulting. Hecker's "introduction" to the book (which makes up about half the book's pages) is an in-depth discussion of Poe's military career attempts, from an enlisted soldier to his studies to be an officer at West Point. This "introduction" is, bar none, the single most comprehensive discussion of this widely-neglected aspect of Poe's biography. Many biographers gloss over these years as a sort of anomaly in Poe's story, an odd divergence. It's a shame, really, because Hecker enlightens us. He notes that Poe wasn't just giving the military shot, but he was diving in to his endeavors at the (relatively) new West Point Military Academy with gusto and, undeniably, was good at it. Sure, he eventually gave it up after his enthusiasm has passed, but Hecker has really shown that had Poe been interested, he would have made a fine officer (and we'd have a different story to tell about Poe).
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Format: Hardcover
On 5 Jan 06, MAJ William F. Hecker, III, 37 years old, was killed in action with (from the Washington Post, dated 10 Jan 06) "...four other soldiers in Najaf (Iraq) when an explosive detonated near their Humvee, the Defense Department said." Also from the Post, his mother said, "He was looking forward to going. He was doing his duty, and he believed in what he was doing and hoped he could make a difference."

"West Point Alma Mater"

Hail Alma Mater dear,

To us be ever near.

Help us thy motto bear

Through all the years.

Let Duty be well performed.

Honor be e'er untarned.

Country be ever armed.

West Point, by thee.

Guide us, thy sons, aright,

Teach us by day, by night,

To keep thine honor bright,

For thee to fight.

When we depart from thee,

Serving on land or sea,

May we still loyal be,

West Point, to thee.

And when our work is done,

Our course on earth is run,

May it be said, "Well done;

Be thou at peace."

E'er may that line of gray

Increase from day to day

Live, serve, and die, we pray,

West Point, for thee.

P.S. Reinecke, 1911

On behalf of all of us West Pointers around the globe, "Well done; be thou at peace, MAJ Hecker."

Chip Armstrong

USMA '83
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