Earlier this month, "War, Poetry and the Places They Meet" was featured on the website of Consequence Magazine. Launched in 2009, the Massachusetts-based publication bills itself as "an international literary magazine focused on the culture and consequences of war."
In the esay, Brown writes:
My part-time military career was full of disappointments and joys, but it was hardly the stuff of movies and recruiting posters. I’d been an average soldier—a middle-manager in uniform. I was never the smartest, strongest, or highest-ranking person in the room. My Army job involved pushing buttons, connecting wires, and delivering messages. I never fired my weapon in anger. I did sling a few sandbags at home in Iowa. I got a combat patch for overseas peacekeeping duty. Still, as a National Guard member, I was proud to serve my community and my country. Through my service, I had experiences and made friends I’d never have otherwise encountered.Read the whole essay for FREE here.
For me, poetry has been one way to assemble those fragments of memory, to add personal and historical contexts to them, and to extract potential meaning from them.