Steve Mason, a soldier and poet who became the unofficial bard of the Vietnam War, died Wednesday of lung cancer. He was considered by many to the the poet laureate of Vietnam Veterans. In 1984, his poem "The Wall Within" was read at the dedication of the Vietnam wall in Washington D.C.
In the 1970's - Mason began writing love poems. But would go on writing poetry on the wounds of war and published a trilogy of such poems.
From The Wall Within
"There is one other wall, of course. / One we never speak of. / One we never see, / One which separates memory from madness. / In a place no one offers flowers. / The wall within. / We permit no visitors. / Mine looks like any of a million / nameless, brick walls / it stands in the tear-down ghetto of my soul; / that part of me which reason avoids / for fear of dirtying its cloths."
He was survived by three daughters and one son.
Steve Mason, Vietnam War Poet, Dies at 65