Kathleen Galvin’s War Poetry

Kathleen Galvin, the daughter of the late U.S. Army Gen. John R. Galvin, recently published an installment of five poems drawing on her father’s wartime journals in Xavier Review, a literary magazine. Gen. Galvin, who retired in 1992 as U.S. commander of NATO forces, served two tours in Vietnam (1966-67 and 1969-70) with the 1st Infantry Division and the 1st Cavalry Division.

Kathleen Galvin is writing a book of poetry about working with her father on his 2015 book, Fighting the Cold War: A Soldier’s Memoir (University Press of Kentucky). It’s due to be published in the spring.

The poems from the book in the Xavier Review range from the intimate—boxes of letters from home, for example–to battle scenes of fatigue and confusion, responsibility, and uncertainty.  “Disabused” deals with the rapid shift from a sense of invulnerability to exposure. “The Jungle” tells of an “arabesque of images, cross-currents of feeling and mood,” likening the mind’s intricacies and hallucinations to those of the terrain it struggles to comprehend.

You can read the five wartime poems in the online version of Xavier Review, Issue 37-2, starting on page 18.

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