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The Mother/Child Papers

The Mother/Child Papers: With a new preface by the author

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  • Book Info
    The Mother/Child Papers
    Book Description:

    In 1970, as the war in Vietnam was heating up, Ostriker was awaiting the birth of her son. On April 30, President Nixon announced the bombing of Cambodia. On May 14, four students were shot and killed by National Guardsmen at Kent State University. The poems in this collection confront Ostriker's personal tumult as she considered the world she had brought her son into.

    eISBN: 978-0-8229-7826-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

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    (pp. 1-6)

    My son Gabriel was born on May 14, 1970, during the Vietnam War, a few days after the United States invaded Cambodia, and a few days after four students had been shot by National Guardsmen at Kent State University in Ohio during a protest demonstration.

    On May 1, President Nixon announced Operation Total Victory, sending 5,000 American troops into Cambodia to destroy North Vietnamese military sanctuaries, in a test of “our will and character,” so that America would not seem “a pitiful helpless giant” or “accept the first defeat in its proud 190-year history.”

    He wanted his own war.