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War Poetry

Poems and prose about armed combat.

Articles about War and War Poetry

100 Years of Poetry: The Magazine and War: A historical look at the role of poetry in wartime. By Abigail Deutsch

“American ServiceVeterans Day and a citizenship based on hope. By Paisley Rekdal

A Poetry-Fueled War: During the Civil War, poetry didn’t just respond to events; it shaped them. By Ruth Graham

Craft Vs. Conscience: How the Vietnam War destroyed the friendship between Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov. By Ange Mlinko

Poetry, Wartime, and Unwieldy Metaphors: Poets participate in a panel on war and peace poems.

War Stories: Veteran Kevin Powers’s celebrated novel The Yellow Birds has its origins in his poetry. By Evan Smith Rakoff

Are We All Monsters?: Philip Schultz’s The Wherewithal grapples with the Holocaust, poverty, Vietnam, and then some. By Jacob Silverman

Read Poetry of World War I and Browse World War I Poets

Read Poetry of World War II and Browse World War II Poets

Read Veterans Day Poems and Poems for Peace


Essays from Poetry magazine

Poems, Bombs, and the Road to Baghdad by Matthew Doherty

Everyone Is an Immigrant by Eliza Griswold

Sarajevo Blues by Aleksandar Hemon

Romance and Reality by Lt. Gen. William James Lennox, Jr.

Like Soldiers Marching by Rachel Cohen

How With This Rage by Chris Hedges

When Yellow Ribbons and Flag-Waving Aren’t Enough by Nathaniel Fick


Contemporary Poems (post-1945)

We Lived Happily During the War by Ilya Kaminsky

Vietnam Epic Treatment by Donald Revell

Poem by Muriel Rukeyser

The Hurt Locker by Brian Turner

The End and the Beginning by Wislawa Szymborska

On the Civil War on the East Coast of the United States of North America 1860-64 by Alan Dugan

from Don't Let Me Be Lonely: “I don't usually talk to strangers...” by Claudia Rankine

Casualty by Seamus Heaney

The Fury of Aerial Bombardment by Richard Eberhart

Camouflaging the Chimera by Yusef Komunyakaa

To Our Land by Mahmoud Darwish

Ode for the American Dead in Asia by Thomas McGrath

Gettysburg: July 1, 1863 by Jane Kenyon

Requiem for the First Half of Split by Alice Notley

Wildpeace by Yehuda Amichai

The Conscientious Objector by Karl Jay Shapiro

The Grand Army of the Republic by John Spaulding

“During the Second World War” by Charles Reznikoff

“After Experience Taught Me ...” by W.D. Snodgrass

At the Bomb Testing Site by William Stafford

Healing Gila by Lawson Fusao Inada

The Lost Pilot by James Tate

Apparition of the Exile by Bruce Weigl

Making Peace by Denise Levertov

Ode to a Drone by Amit Majmudar

High Noon at Los Alamos by Eleanor Wilner



Classic Poems (pre-1945)

On being asked for a War Poem by William Butler Yeats

Insensibility by Wilfred Owen

Love among the Ruins by Robert Browning

Concord Hymn by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Battle Hymn of the Republic by Julia Ward Howe

Long, too long America by Walt Whitman

Armistice by Sophie Jewett

Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight by Vachel Lindsay

September, 1918 by Amy Lowell

If We Must Die by Claude McKay

I Have a Rendezvous with Death by Alan Seeger

Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen

Arms and the Boy by Wilfred Owen

Strange Meeting by Wilfred Owen

Easter, 1916 by William Butler Yeats

Grass by Carl Sandburg

Dreamers by Siegfried Sassoon

The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field one Night by Walt Whitman

The French Revolution as It Appeared to Enthusiasts at Its Commencement by William Wordsworth



Browse all of our Poems about War & Conflict

Poem Sampler

War Poetry

Poems and prose about armed combat.

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