Kahn was born in 1924 in New York City and attended public schools
there through high school. He served in the U.S. Army during World
War II, studied at the University of Pennsylvania, the University
of Connecticut, and earned his doctorate in American and English
Literature at the University of Wisconsin in 1957.
taught for thirty-seven years at various colleges and universities
in the United States and Europe.
published works include poetry, plays, essays and articles, and
a unique WW II diary he wrote as a soldier serving in the South
Pacific and published over 40 years later. Between Tedium
and Terror is widely
noted as a real and readable account of the everyday life of a
WW II soldier.
poetry collections include two collaborations with Robert Fossum,
Facing Mirrors and Further Reflections and a
number of other volumes: A Later Sun, Another Time, Interculture,
The Fight Is With Phantoms, Our Separate Darkness, and several
Sy Kahn set off to serve in the Pacific during World War II, he
was a bookish, naive nineteen-year-old, the youngest in his company.
Convinced he would not survive the war, Kahn kept a meticulous
record of his experiences as his "foxhole of the mind,"
even though keeping such a journal was forbidden by military regulations.
writing in tents by candlelight, in foxholes, or on board ships,
Between Tedium and Terror documents life during four
campaigns and over three hundred air attacks." (From
the University of Illinois Press website.)
are plentiful throughout this website. Use this link to find them
all. Photos include many family photos as well as photos taken
for professional uses. Also here are Sy's World War II snapshots
and photos of the same people more than 50 years later.
links to galleries as well as other pages that include photos.