Even the newest of correspondents knows not to go into a war zone without the right training, the right gear, and the right exit plan. But some seasoned reporters have learned that they need something more to sustain them through the bleak days and nights of carnage: poetry.
Few correspondents are more seasoned than Alissa J. Rubin, who in 15 years at The New York Times has served as a bureau chief in Baghdad, Kabul and Paris and before that covered conflict in the Balkans. We asked her to talk about what she reads when her job brings her to the battlefield.
Yeats and Auden are frequent companions. But Alissa also draws heavily from a range of other works, from Homer’s “Iliad” to poems by Wislawa Szymborska, Seamus Heaney and Mahmoud Darwish.