A SOLDIER POET LOOKS AT LANDSCAPES. Experience and purpose shape how we look at landscapes. Louis Simpson was a distinguished poet who from 1943 to 1945 (as this wikipedia article describes) fought in important battles in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. For example, he fought at Bastogne “where bitterly cold temperatures had to be endured while the 101st Division was surrounded by enemy forces for days.” I think of poets as appreciating the beauty of landscapes, but I read years ago that Simpson said that he never looked at a landscape without appraising what would be the best places to take cover in a combat situation.

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