Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Song of Napalm: Poems Paperback – January 21, 1994
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Song of Napalm has some previous poetry, but that is okay.
"Mercy" speaks to me as a Vietnam veteran. When I got back from Vietnam I was actually refused a part-time job stripping shingles from a roof. The only job I got--and I had to argue for that one--at the time was pumping gas. At least I went to college and got a master's, but I do feel sorry for those who never had a chance. That is why I also ask for mercy, but never saw it coming my way.
"Song for the Lost Private" is another highly personal poem (what else is poetry). Those who never lost a friend over there can never understand our level of frustration. Weigl certainly gives you a good idea, though with "you didn't show/so I drank myself into a filthy room with a bar girl/who had terrible scars."
"On the Anniversary of her Grace" is an outstanding poem regarding the connection (or disconnection) with our time in Vietnam and how it intrudes on life today. "Inside me the war had eaten a hole. I could not touch anyone. The wind blew through me to the green place/where they still fell in their blood." Speaking of attempts to love again, he ends the poem with "but I could not open my arms to her/that first night of forgiveness." And, like just who are we going to forgive, also crosses my mind?
"Elegy," appropriately, is the final poem in this slim book, which needs to be savored in small doses. "Into the black understanding they marched/until the angels came/calling their names/until they rose, one by one from the blood." It ends with "Some of them died. Some of them were not allowed to." I can't think of a more proper way to end a book on Vietnam.
weigl writes realistic yet euphonic poetry--as it should be...in his eyes grit glints like diamond kisses... bruce weigl is a contemporary master...his voice, tender sardonic urgent earnest weary unbroken,calls to "ourselves, which are holy."
Much of this poetry before the First World War was focused upon the heroism of combatants and the glory of victory (or of bravery and endurance in defeat). This begins to dramatically change during the First World War as the tragedy and futility of what they saw and experienced led many poets to present a darker vision. By the time of the U.S. war in Vietnam, this darker vision predominated and this is what is presented here by Bruce Weigl, a veteran of the 1st Air Cavalry Division in Vietnam (for which see "We Were Soldiers Once, and Young."
The poetry of Bruce Weigl in "Song of Napalm" includes many darker images reflecting his experiences in Vietnam. His words describe both seemingly ordinary moments of human life - love, sex, drinking, etc - but always against the background of the tragedy of the war in Vietnam. This background is especially strong in the darker images he presents of men in combat, in conflict, and in death.
I would recommend this collection to anyone interested, as I am, in the revelations of how combat effects soldiers, of how soldiers reflect upon their experiences, and how they choose to present that experience to others (or especially to themselves) while attempting to process and understand their experience of war.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautifully and horrifically written. This book of poems by Bruce Weigl provides a raw vision of war while grasping at the fragility and beauty of life. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Kindle Customer
I purchased this book for a friend who spent years in Iraq. Poetry such as Bruce Weigl's has the capacity to provide solace and a sense of camaraderie for those who experienced the... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Laura Thornton
Very rich insight from someone who has been around the world and back. Song of Napalm is a great work of nonfiction and the author is a master of form, it had me glad, reminiscing,... Read morePublished on April 22, 2014 by Amazon Customer
I was introduced to Weigl's Song of Napalm in college. I've always been what you might call "poetry challenged", but Weigl's work hit me like a fist in the mouth. Read morePublished on December 17, 2004 by R. Clark