Martial Music

Martial Music



About the book

  • Winner of the 2018 F.G. Bressani Literary Prize
George Amabile's eleventh book and newest collection of poetry explores the relationships between civilization, technology, empire and human violence, theatres of war, the collateral damage of military occupation, the machinations of power politics, oil spills, destruction of the environment, PTSD, and other characteristics of what we call "world events." These are tough poems for tough times -- our times -- when the human cost of military conflict, environmental disaster and gun violence have become the daily staple of news headlines. Provocative, unflinching and at times raw with the poet's fury at unfathomable acts, Amabile's poems converge as an urgent libretto against the militaristic tendencies that surround us, inciting a march toward the creation of a more peaceful and sincere world.

About the author

Amabile, George

George Amabile has published ten books and has had his work published in over a hundred national and international venues. He has won awards in the CAA National Prize, the CBC Literary Competition, the Petra Kenney International Competition and the MAC national poetry contest, and the National Magazine Awards. His most recent publications are a long poem, Dancing, with Mirrors and Small Change, both of which won Bressani Awards. Amabile lives in Winnipeg.


from Sticks and Stones

The Museo has devoted an entire floor
to the history of weapons. Out in the light
the columned facade of a temple
sacred once to Diana is pocked
with bullet-holes from The Great War.

News Stands are still selling posters:
Benito’s fat lips and thick neck, Adolf’s
cowlick and rat’s eyes and clipped moustache,
the first white rush at Los Alamos...

And there are books, more every day, explaining
with restrained awe and subdued satisfaction,
that we’ve always had the know-how to develop
improved ways and means, more compelling reasons,
to kill: humans, animals, insects, weeds.

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