The Warrior: A Mother's Story of a Son at War

Frances Richey, Author Viking Books $21.95 (84p) ISBN 978-0-670-01961-8
Richey's son went from West Point to the Green Berets and thence to the war in Iraq. Her poems about him have appeared both in literary quarterlies and in O: The Oprah Magazine; this consistently moving, straightforward collection of those poems seems likely to gain much attention. Richey (The Burning Point) remembers her earlier years as a single mother, living through a traumatic miscarriage, juggling work and home life, and later grappling with her son's military vocation: ""My son has brothers now,"" she writes, ""the family she wanted."" Richey's strongest lines, however, find a sharp blend between personal emotions and public events: she writes a poem to her son's helmet, to his gun, to his ""desert camo boots,"" warning herself, ""I can't protect him."" Richey, who comes from West Virginia but lives in New York, sees signs of the current conflict everywhere-at the planetarium, for example, or in a taxicab. More than just a book about one war, Richey's collection becomes instead a book about what military service (especially high-risk combat service, such as her son's) does to the psyches and daily lives of those who serve and those who love them. In a museum exhibit about the Civil War, Richey grows ""sick to my stomach,/ face-to-face with the gallantry/ of men young/ as my son""; hearing that son, home on leave, boast about his regiment's destructive powers, she muses with self-conscious helplessness, ""If I could take that hat off his head,/ he wouldn't say those things.""
Reviewed on: 03/31/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Show other formats
Open Ebook - 96 pages - 978-1-101-02321-1
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 96 pages - 978-1-101-02358-7
Paperback - 84 pages - 978-0-14-311511-3
Open Ebook - 96 pages - 978-1-101-02469-0
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.