The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You
Author: Frank Stanford
Publisher: Lost Roads Publishers (2000)
The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You is a 15,283-line epic poem, almost entirely unpunctuated, oscillating freely between internal dreamscapes and a dialect-driven narrative of a young white boy coming of age amid an older generation of Black men in the civil-rights era South.
First published in 1977 and reprinted by Lost Roads under the editorship of Forrest Gander and C.D. Wright in 2000, The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You is a major work by a prolific writer whose early death left his texts in obscurity for decades. The reprinting of The Battlefield in 2000 constituted a truly important, much anticipated literary event.
"[This poem] is told from the point of view of a twelve-year-old clairvoyant, Francis Gildart; as one reviewer wrote it reads "as if Huckleberry Finn had been written by Andre Breton." Indeed between the early Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf and The Battlefield the genetic code goes uninterrupted. No other poem in Western literature maintains continuity to this extreme."
"The logic of the book is a kind of dream logic, cockeyed and ecstatic, and its narrator is on the kind of journey from which no traveler returns. 'All of this is magic against death,' declares Francis, which is as good a definition of the book's intent as any."