Monday, April 10, 2023

“Secretary Cheney / made no mention”: Dick Cheney and in Denise Levertov’s “News Report, September 1991"

The subtitle of Denise Levertov's poem "News Report, September 1991" is an all-caps newspaper headline: "U.S. BURIED IRAQI SOLDERS ALIVE IN GULF WAR." The poem consists of quotations from that "news report" on a "tactic [...] designed / to terrorize", as one of the quotations put it. Another reads differently now than in 1992 when the poem was published in Levertov's collection "Evening Train": "Secretary Cheney / made no mention." At the time, Dick Cheney was George H. W. Bush's Secretary of Defense; just over ten years later, as George W. Bush's Vice President, he and his many henchmen from the first Gulf War were instrumental in starting the second one. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 10 April 2023)

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