“More than thirty years after the fall of Saigon the Vietnam War continues to be written and rewritten in the American imagination. […] There is a distinguished body of writings by American veterans detailing the boredom and horror of combat as well as post-war traumas within a country that shunned the returning veterans. Some veterans returned to Vietnam and have written prose and poetry detailing their experiences. […] A growing body of translated works by Vietnamese now joins this memorial debate focusing on the legacy of the war from Vietnamese perspectives.”
[Subarno Chatterji, ‘Will there be peace again?’ American and Vietnamese Poetry on the Vietnam/American War’ in Adam Piette and Mark Rawlinson, eds., The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century British and American War Literature]
“Vietnam War poetry speaks for itself, often in brutal, explicit language. After all, to those of us who served in Vietnam, the war is the most explicit experience we have ever seen, and not to use the language of the war would be to lie about it–and, to be dishonest, even for the sake of art, is the one thing an American Vietnam War veteran is never going to be able to do. He feels that he has been deceived enough, and he refuses to inflict another lie on others.”
[W.D.Ehrhart, Unaccustomed Mercy: Soldier-Poets of the Vietnam War, p. viii]
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