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You might be offended by this week's story on veterans' poetry.

Maybe the profanity will turn you off. Maybe the political opinions. Perhaps the poems will strike you as unpatriotic.

If you want to blame someone, blame me. The truth is, I could have made this a happy story. I could have told you about the growth of veterans' poetry, and its power to heal, without showing you any of the writers' actual works.

But that would have seemed dishonest, and you would have missed all the raw power in these words.

True, these poems aren't always pretty.

But then, neither is war.

Veterans across the country are turning to poetry as a way of releasing inner feelings of rage, grief, regret and guilt the usual grab bag that becomes an unpleasant if not much worse after-effect of fighting our wars.

The local veterans featured in this package say that writing poetry has helped them. In fact, some will even tell you that it 's "saved" them.

And, in that sense, perhaps that means this is a happy story, after all.

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