Mothers Over Nangarhar

Mothers Over Nangarhar

by Pamela Hart


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Mothers Over Nangarhar is an unusual and powerful war narrative, focusing less on the front lines of combat and more on the home front, a perspective our American cultural canon has largely ignored after 222 years at war. In her stunning poetry debut, Pamela Hart concentrates on the fears and psychological battles suffered by parents, lovers, and friends during a soldier’s absence and return home, if indeed there’s a return. With honest grit and compassionate imagination, Hart describes her own experience having a son overseas, incorporating lyric meditations, photography, news articles, support group meetings, family interviews, oral histories, and classic literature to construct a documentary-style narrative very much situated in the now. Blending reality with absurdism and guided openly by a Calvino kind of logic, Hart reveals to us a crucial American point of view.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781946448262
Publisher: Sarabande Books
Publication date: 01/08/2019
Series: Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry Series
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 780,132
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Pamela Hart is writer in residence at the Katonah Museum of Art where she teaches and manages an arts-in-education program called Thinking Through the Arts. She was awarded an NEA poetry fellowship in 2013. She recently received the Brian Turner Literary Arts prize for poetry. Her poems have been published in a variety of journals including the Southern Humanities Review, Bellevue Literary Review and Drunken Boat. Toadlily Press published her chapbook, The End of the Body. She is poetry editor and mentor for the Afghan Women’s Writing Project.

Table of Contents


Title Page
War Partita 4
Cities & Signs & War 6
River of Painted Rocks 7
War Games 8
Flynn’s Pond 9
To the Person Who 10
At the Shooting Range 11
Women & War Sestina 12
The Cut 13
In the Red Cross Parking Lot 14
Sometimes We Talk About Nothing 15
The Shawl 16
The Matins Project 17

Contour Drawing 19
Museum 20
Land Navigation 21
Birds Rising 22
How to Make a Diorama 23
The Women 24
Graces Watches the News 25
During War We Email Our Soldiers 26
In the Car 27
Globe Skimmer 28
Numerous Gray Areas 29
In Which I Talk to the Mother of Crazy Horse 30
Landay 31
Praise Song 32
Exhalation 33

Field Notes from Home 35
Some Principles of Return 38
Kevlar Poem 39
Soldier Undated World War I 40
Rules of Engagement 41
The Map is not the Territory 42
The Ruby Ring 43
As Thetis 44

Looking at Monet’s Water Lilies 46
On the Orange Jumpsuit 47

Title Page

War Stories 50
My Soldier 51
Night Vision 52
Over Nangarhar 53
Drone Song 54
Private Jonathon Lee Gifford’s Mother 55
Kevlar Poem II 56
Regarding the Improvised Explosive Device 57
Negative Capability 59
Birds Gather on Empty Ground 60

Tea With the Vietcong Soldier’s Wife 62
Before After 63
Everything is Everywhere 64
Obon 65
Stray Dog Story 66
Not the Same 67
Memorial 68
M16/ M4 69
On the Soldier’s Birthday 70
Jalalabad 71
Transmigration 72

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