The Whiteness of the Soldier-Speaker in Brian Turner's Here, Bullet
Abstract

Abstract:

In Brian Turner's collection of Iraq War poems Here, Bullet (2005), the soldier-speaker minimizes his white military subjectivity in order to preserve his own individuality. Turner meets the representational challenges of first-hand war poetry through his emphasis on narrative descriptions, his focus on natural objects and mundane particularities, juxtaposed with references to ancient Iraqi culture, and through the surrealism of his imagery. Together, these poetic strategies enable him to process and articulate his experiences in Iraq without succumbing to the paradoxically empowering and obliterating effects of his own uniformed whiteness in occupied Iraq. In the process, Turner gives space to a multiplicity of "observation posts" that decenter the lyric consciousness and enable the reader's empathy.