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By Jeffrey Walsh (auth.)

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I have a rendezvous with Death On some scarred slope of battered hill, When Spring comes round again this year And the first meadow-flowers appear. God knows 'twere better to be deep Pillowed in silk and scented down, Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep, Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath, Where hushed awakenings are dear ... But I've a rendezvous with Death At midnight in some flaming town, When Spring trips north again this year, And I to my pledged word am true, I shall not fail that rendezvous.

Sophisticated military devices are asctibed to psychological darkness and act as metaphors for the atrocities that have become embedded in our consciousness of war. More than most of his contemporaries Underwood implicates civilians in the Darwinian struggle, the 'truceless wars of fang and talon', and he 40 American War Literature explores the deep structure of war as a process of ,vivisection'; the dehumanised image suggests the vision of later writers such as Dos Passos and Mailer who were interested in the psychological conditioning of soldiers.

P. 272) 28 American War Literature Cummings's old soldiers personalise the war, claiming inside knowledge and expertise, what Malcolm Cowley refers to as a part of the 'spectatorial attitude', as shown in the vers libre of the bigness of cannon is skilful, but i have seen death's clever enormous voice which hides in a fragility of poppies. '" i say that sometimes on these long talkative animals are laid fists of huger silence. I have seen all the silence filled with vivid noiseless boys at Roupy i have seen between barrages, the night utter ripe un speaking girls.

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