PEN AND BAYONET: The Story of Joyce Kilmer by Norah Smaridge

PEN AND BAYONET: The Story of Joyce Kilmer

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KIRKUS REVIEW

School children have been memorizing and reciting Joyce Kilmer's ""Trees"" for over forty years. Now in an excellent biography for the Credo Book Series, today's young readers will learn something about the engaging poet who was also acclaimed as a critic, reviewer, lecturer and writer. Born in New Jersey, Kilmer attended Rutgers and Columbia. While working in New York at a variety of publishing jobs, he turned from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism, and was received into the Church in 1913. His poetry breathes a true spirit of reverence and piety expressing his deep conviction that life was vain and hollow if a man did not love God above all else. Miss Smaridge intersperses her well written narrative with stanzas of some of Kilmer's famous poems which capture his interest in the thoughts and doings of ordinary men and women. Describing his life in the Army with the famous ""Fighting 69th"", she uses his poignant ""Prayer of a Soldier in France"" to point up his very real ""love of the cross and the Way of the Cross"". This is indeed a satisfying portrait of the light-hearted Joyce Kilmer who died at the Battle of Cureq in 1917 leaving a legacy of poetry for coming generations.

Publisher: Hawthorn