Sunday, June 12, 2011

Andrew Hudgins, After the Lost War: A Narrative

Up to this point, I've only read one or two poems by Andrew Hudgins.  I had this book on order when FB raised the idea of NaPoReMo because I kept running into his name in one place or the other; plus, I was impressed that he was able to pull off the line, "blah, blah, blah" in the poem Day Job and Night Job which is just the sort of silly thing that catches my interest.

After the Lost War: A Narrative is a sequence of poems based on the life of the Georgia-born poet and musician Sidney Lanier.  The Lost War is the American Civil War as viewed from the perspective of the South.  Hudgins breaks up the book into four sections and prefaces each section of poems with roughly a half-page of historical background related to that particular section of Lanier's life.  From these historical sketches, Hudgins imagines himself in the life of Lanier.

The first section is titled The Macon Volunteers.  Lanier fought with the Macon Volunteers at the battle of Chancellorsville and other smaller battles and was later captured and taken prisoner.  He was confined for three months under extremely brutal conditions and his health deteriorated to the point that he remained a semi-invalid for the rest of his life. 

After the war ended, Lanier was released and staggered home from Maryland to Georgia.  Eventually, he proposed to a woman and was rejected then proposed and married another woman whom he met through a mutual friend.   Lanier also plays the flute, if that should turn out to be of some importance.

After the Lost War: A Narrative received the Poetry Prize.

This isn't the type of poetry that I would typically seek out on my own so I'm excited to get started.

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