While there is a significant body of literature - fiction, memoirs, poetry - by American male veterans that has been discussed and analyzed, writings by American women who served in Vietnam receive less attention. This essay looks at some poetry by women within contexts of collective political and cultural amnesia. It argues that in recovering women's voices there is often a reiteration of dominant masculine tropes which in turn does not interrogate fundamental structures and justifications of the Vietnam War. However, the poems are indicative of alternative visions, of "things worth living for" in the aftermath of a war that has specific reverberations in the United States of America.
Vietnam War; women and war; women's poetry; memory; Vietnam Memorial