HARVARD SQUARE COMMENTARY

March 10, 2008
New in Books on Sale

Jesus’ War
Contemplation of Shock and Awe in Iraq
by John R. Guthrie
John R. Guthrie, one of our regular contributors, has published a compendium that includes, but is not limited to, poems about the war in Iraq. We happily include this chapbook on our "Books on Sale" page.

Comments about Jesus’ War

John Guthrie's work is directed here by a moral compass, evident in how his poems click on and align with the heart of the matter.  War, the topic of many grand poems and grand gestures in human history, is revealed and reviled for the devastation it deals daily to unwilling participants. As a former military man and physician, Guthrie has seen the face of war. The poet responds, sometimes sharply, as a man of peace.

Poet Eloise Healy
Los Angeles, California


With both scathing irony toward the perpetuators of war, bigotry, and hypocrisy, and tenderness toward their victims, John Guthrie leaves no doubt about where he stands. These poems are an Orange Alert against complacency. At the moral center of this book is Guthrie's eloquent translation of Li Po's "Endless War:"

.. . and though the generals have accomplished nothing
still they plan the next battle
Wise men seldom invoke war,
for what is victory?
it differs very little from defeat.

Poet and critic Lloyd Schwartz
Somerville, Massachusetts


Within these passionate poems, John Guthrie speaks in the voices of mothers, fathers, children, in Iraq and other wars - and an entire poem is chillingly composed from quotes by George W.  Bush ... He includes a wonderful translation of Li Po's "Endless War" and responds in his own poem. "The Cost of Oil:"

An orphan weeps in Baghdad's ruins,
No water, light nor food,
The shell-torn corpse of a brown-skinned child;
What price Iraqi crude?

Novelist and poet Alma Luz Villanueva
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico



Published by Partisan Press, Norfolk, VA; ISBN 1883458773; 38 pages
$8.99 + $2.00 S & H: GFPC Publications, 3424 Palermo Court, Simi Valley, California 93063
Or e-mail John R. Guthrie: johnrguthrie@roadrunner.com


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