The Journal

Duck Lake Books presents

The Journal

a poetry chapbook by

Keith Moul

Book Rrelease Date
November 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-943900-09-3

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November 15, 2019.

In The Journal, Keith Moul discovers and records in poetry five months of his father’s life lost in the “infinity of watery space” of World War II. The poet’s father, Ralph Moul, like so many of the Greatest Generation, came home to live a simple life of silence, unable to break through “a painful, private vocabulary.” After his father’s death, Keith Moul discovered that journal and began his journey to bring poetic eloquence to a young sailor’s lost voice.

Ralph Moul served as an Electrician Mate, 2nd Class, on board the U.S.S. Lexington in the Pacific theater of World War II. In his early twenties, Moul was part of the Greatest Generation, a term that often conjures images of Hollywood stars or star athletes abandoning their fame in the prime of their careers to serve a greater American cause, coming home to serve the rest their lives in the spotlight as the image and voice of the Great War.

More often, this Greatest Generation was comprised of young men, like Ralph Moul, with a job to do, struggling to survive the trauma and boredom of each war torn day. When the poet, Keith Moul, found his father’s journal from 1944, he found a voice he never knew that he writes about in “Silent Man.”

Eloquent as a tracer shell arcing toward zeroes,
maybe hit, more likely missed, lost in an ocean
of fear, an infinity of watery space.
Those journal entries are the only written record of Ralph Moul’s sixty-seven year life. This was not the bravado of a Jimmy Stewart or Ted Williams returning home to glory and fame. This is an ordinary boy, like so many, having lost his youth at war, returning home unable to rescue his own family from silence. About his father, the poet writes

he muttered under his breath a painful, private vocabulary.
The journal of this lonely sailor sheds new light on that “painful, private vocabulary” and bridges the gap between father and son across that “infinity of watery space.” Moul’s poetry not only honors his father’s quiet dignity, but gives a true, honest voice to the ordinary men who shouldered the burden of war. These poems bring eloquence to the strength and silence of the Greatest Generation.

About the Poet:

Keith Moul, a resident of Port Angeles, Washington, has had poems and photographs published widely. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina, where he studied with James Dickey. Moul, an active poet for fifty years, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and he won the Red Ochre Chapbook Contest in 2011.

His most recent publications include:

Beautiful Agitation, Red Ochre Press, 2012.
The Future as a Picnic Lunch, Finishing Line Press, 2015.
Naked Among Possibilities, Kelsay Books, 2016.
Not on Any Map, Aldrich Press, 2017.
Investment in Idolatry, Finishing Line Press, 2018.

Revised August 10, 2019
© 2019 Duck Lake Books

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