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Hallelujah!
It works.
We blew the shit out of them.

We blew the shit right back up their own ass
And out their fucking ears.

It works.
We blew the shit out of them.
They suffocated in their own shit!

Hallelujah.
Praise the Lord for all good things.

We blew them into fucking shit.
They are eating it.

Praise the Lord for all good things.

We blew their balls into shards of dust,
Into shards of fucking dust.

We did it.

Now I want you to come over here and kiss me on the mouth.

American Football (A Reflection upon the Gulf War)
-- Harold Pinter, 1991


When I first encountered this poem its seemingly unnecessary and brash halting profanity was confusing; then I realised that this poem is its seemingly unnecessary and brash halting profanity. Since that is true, then there must be a reason for the poem being written this way. As far as I can tell, this poem is completely naked; it doesn't use any cushioning descriptive language to try to dignify the feeling of crushing an enemy but instead expresses the raw visceral reaction to doing so. It summarises the stereotypical North American response to war with an unexpected simplicity like a smack in the face. The dignified title of the poem conflicts with the undignified content in a similar manner which encourages further analysis (as here).

etouffee has pointed out to me that it is probably a good idea to point out the title's reference to the sport also; American football is different to other forms of football and that "sex/violence" are essential parts of the whole theater...cheerleaders, etc...players are described as bombs ....a rush of players is described as a blitz etc etc".

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