Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

June 01, 2005

Steve Mason, 65, a soldier and poet who became the unofficial bard of the Vietnam War, died of lung cancer May 25 at his home in Ashland, Ore.

Considered the poet laureate of Vietnam veterans, Mr. Mason in his blank verse gave voice to a generation's wounds.

His poem The Wall Within was read at the 1984 dedication of the Vietnam Wall in Washington.

He began by writing love poems in the 1970s, co-writing Moths and Violets with a friend. Eventually, he began opening up the wounds of war, publishing the trilogy he is best known for - Johnny's Song: Poetry of a Vietnam Veteran in 1986, Warrior for Peace in 1988 and The Human Being - A Warrior's Journey Toward Peace and Mutual Healing in 1990.

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