Carrying the Darkness
edited by W.D. Ehrhart
Texas Tech University Press, 1985

    "War poetry is writing of a special kind.  Plainly said, Carrying the Darkness is a vast and thorough collection of Vietnam poetry, unique in American literature and the best anthology of Vietnam War poetry I have come across.  W.D. Ehrhart has gathered what is virtually a bibliography, a compendium--the work of 75 poets, some familiar, but many whose work you will be reading for the first time.
    Here is the soul deadening pain and grief of the soldiers, the bitter and angry denunciation of the arrogrance and stupidity of our conduct of the war, the admiration and destruction of a proud and determined people, the day-in day-out grunt work of the war, the dipsticks and characters and jive-fools, the hip and the laughable blarney which characterize any American army, the deeply felt, heartsick reverberations of war that will last among us for a long time.
    Carrying the Darkness deserves to be read far and wide and will surely become a classic."

--Larry Heinemann

    "Here are the poets we never knew we had, veterans from the old and lost war in Vietnam.  One by one their poems rise like flames from the pages and by this light we see what the war took away and what the war deformed.  Read them."

--Gloria Emerson

    "I believe Carrying the Darkness is the best anthology of poetry to come out of the Vietnam War.  The poets in this collection have given their experiences in Vietnam a vital reality that transcends time and grabs your heart.  The bitter pain of war and war's aftermath in Carrying the Darkness is so palpable and persuasive that it's almost unbearable.  When you read Carrying the Darkness, you read about war as it really is--and you will never be the same."

--Robert Mason

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