The War Poets is an online journal dedicated to the life of the mind and the literary side of the United States Armed Forces. It is a response to a question posed by the Times Literary Supplement in 1940: Where are the war-poets? The same can be asked of today: Where are our poets, writers, and thinkers? While some may suppose they have vanished into the annals of history, personal experience suggests they are still there albeit with a lower profile. So it seems timely to offer a “virtual agora” for mutual support, debate and the exchange of thought, in the firm belief that the renaissance of the arts can go forward and continue.
Our aim is to bring out the poet or writer amidst the great compass of our nations armed services. We believe there is something of meaning and value inside each and every service member’s soul and mind, regardless of rank or rate. Wisdom does not discriminate on the basis of age, experience, or rank; rather, it discriminates against those who put an end to one’s liberal learning and the pursuit of truth. Heeding to the foresight of Socrates, we believe that reflection and examination of one’s experience in the military, both during peace and war, is vital in preserving the soldier’s imagination.
We make no claim to equal the prodigies and brilliance of the past, but we do believe that the best way to honor the achievements of those great writers is at least to engage the tradition from Homer and Thucydidies, Sun Tzu and von Clausewitz through to Walt Whitman, Rudyard Kipling, and Winston Churchill, T.E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell, not to mention the classic war poets of the First World War. It is in this way that we seek to build upon the tradition and the legacy of those who have gone before us as we look to their works for inspiration and insight.