Dreaming the End of War
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 novelistBenjamin Sáenz has written 10 books of poetry and prose, most recentlyIn 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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There are thousands of generals throughout the history of this beautiful and sad
and tragic earth who have believed the wars they waged were just. Some of
these generals were readers of Augustine. Some of them only pretended to have
My uncle Frank told me the peace sign was the footprint of the American chicken.
My uncle Frank never fought in a war. * The living cry that the wars they fight are
just. The dead answer that they are not. The living think the dead are confused.
For my father, all wars have come to an end — but not for the sons and daughters
he has left behind. * My wife is on her way to me from work. Tonight, a pot of
freshly cooked beans. Green chile and tomatoes. The radio invades my house as
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Dreaming the End of WarUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Plainspoken but affecting, this driving verse considers the human capacity for violence, visiting the border between the United States and Mexico but not remaining there. Read full review