Dreaming the End of War: Poems
This gripping suite of twelve dreams, infused with the conflict along the border of Mexico and the United States, traces humanity’s addiction to violence and killing—from boys stepping on ants to men shooting animals, men shooting women, men shooting enemies. The Dreams begin in a desert landscape where poverty and wealth grate against each other, and the ever present war becomes “as invisible as the desert sands we trample on.” The dreams, however, move toward a greater peace with Sáenz providing an unforgettable reading experience.
From “The Fourth Dream: Families and Flags and Revenge”:
I don’t believe a flag
Some men would hate me
“Rage,” Sáenz said in an interview, “must be a component of any writer’s life. But this rage must also be contained—otherwise our very bodies will become chaos—our minds will become chaos. We need order.” Sáenz finds that order in poems, transforming his rage into something “more beautiful and gracious and forgiving.”
Poet and novelist Benjamin Sáenz has written 10 books of poetry and prose, most recently In Perfect Light (HarperCollins). He was a Catholic priest, doing missionary and charity work in London, Tanzania, and the barrio parishes of El Paso, Texas. Upon leaving the priesthood, he was awarded a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. He teaches in the MFA program at University of Texas, El Paso.
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Review: Dreaming the End of WarUser Review - Will - Goodreads
I don't believe a flag / is important / / enough to kiss-- / or even burn. / / Some men would hate me / enough to kill me / if they read those words. Read full review
Review: Dreaming the End of WarUser Review - Philip - Goodreads
What a poignant read, today. Maybe, always. I feel more than fortunate that when I read this work I can hear Ben's voice in my head not just this alone makes me cry at each stanza, for him and for all of us. However, because I can... the work becomes for me. Read full review