Blessings the Body Gave
The Track at Saigon
We jogged slow laps on asphalt
We tried staying sober in daylight.
to keep our bodies hard. We heard
laughter of French landowners by a pool.
thunder of jets loaded with napalm,
“McDonald once again looks keenly, as only he can, at all four horizons of his seemingly limitless Texas landscape. Poem by poem we share this poet’s acute sense of place. This is the American West, and McDonald a realist who sites his poems in a moral landscape amid the steers and hawks and barbed-wire fences and Stetsons.” —David Citino
The moral landscape to which David Citino refers is informed by the experience of war. These poems deal with the loss of Walt McDonald’s father in World War II as well as with his own experiences in Vietnam. They tell of living with the memories of war, of celebrating and coping with the fact of survival, in the context of love of one’s family in a place at once harsh and beautiful.
Walt McDonald is Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of English and the director
of Creative Writing at Texas Tech University. Blessings the Body Gave
is his seventeenth book. McDonald has won three Western Heritage Awards
from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and three Texas Institute of Letters
96 pp. 5 ½ x 8 ½
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|Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award in Poetry|