Today's poem is "The Stick Soldiers"
from The Stick Soldiers

BOA Editions, Ltd

Hugh Martin was born in northeast Ohio in 1984 and attended Nordonia High School. He joined the Army National Guard in June of 2001 (four months prior to 9/11) and—after graduating from Nordonia in May of 2002—completed basic and AIT training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, as an M1A1 Tanker. In the fall of 2003, Martin withdrew from Muskingum University when his unit was activated and deployed to northeastern Iraq for approximately eleven months. He returned home in January of 2005, completed his BA in English at Muskingum in 2009, worked in Ireland on a work visa in 2010, and completed his MFA at Arizona State in May of 2012. He is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

Books by Hugh Martin:

Other poems on the web by Hugh Martin:
Two poems
Three poems
"This Morning, We Carry Body Bags,"
"The Jalula Market"

Hugh Martin's Blog.

Hugh Martin's Website.

About The Stick Soldiers:

"Here’s nine months worth of sawdust and sweat, dear reader. Somehow, Hugh Martin has wrung poetry from a scab, and now, the full shock and beauty and mystery of the things of war that won’t let go will stick to you."
—Cornelius Eady

"This is as good as first books get… the idea that poetry can invest and transport in terms of an unlikely experience is now almost lost. Nineteenth-century readers of poetry would queue up for blocks in front of the book-stalls of London BOA Editions, Ltds. Please now look at the games our children play off computer screens and ask: How can war be an unlikely experience for anyone in our culture? Hugh Martin has an answer for us."
—Norman Dubie

"I am glad and made better by having Hugh Martin's version of the war in these poems, especially for their unabashed intimacy. But they are more importantly brilliantly muted poems, illustrative of the dullness that overcomes most soldiers in war; a necessary numbing of the senses that allows the temporary survival of trauma. To accomplish this difficult task and take on the responsibility of speaking for the dead and the maimed demands a finely tuned and selfless sense of craft, and that is abundant in these poems as well, with the poet's subtle regard for a wide variety of figures of speech powerfully driven by the facts of war. Overall The Stick Soldiers is a wonderfully unconscious account of the terrible transformative power of war; poem by poem it is a sharply focused consideration of the place of our humanness in war. This is the poetry of witness in its finest and most genuine form and it is, whether we like it or not, necessary for our survival."
—Bruce Weigl

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