Essay On Facing It By Yusef Komunyakaa

To Komunyakaa, the poem is a mechanism for self-discovery, a means by which both the poet and the reader can probe the outer layers of any experience with the intention of arriving at some core meaning.

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What results is the “neon vernacular” that Komunyakaa refers to in the title of his first edition of collected poems, a poetic language that illuminates meaning by expanding the linguistic options, the word choices, at the poet’s disposal.

Furthermore, Komunyakaa is adept at incorporating in his generally spare poems references, especially to musical culture, that amplify meaning through rich associations.

In the second stanza of his poem “Sunday Afternoons,” for example, Komunyakaa layers simile upon simile to capture a couple’s confrontation with the unexpected consequence of their acting upon their sexual desires; one moment they “were drunk and brave as birds diving through saw vines” and the next moment they are counting “speckled eggs, blue as rage.” Dien Cai Dau First published: 1988 Type of work: Poetry are arranged to follow the trajectory of a single black soldier’s experience of the Vietnam conflict from the moment that he suddenly finds himself dropped in the middle of the action to his homecoming and subsequent visit to the war memorial in Washington, D. Komunyakaa’s initial military assignment in Vietnam consisted of frontline reporting.

In so many ways, his dual roles as eyewitness and journalist prepared him for the eventual task, long after the fact, of trying to make sense of an experience that may, in the final analysis, never be fully understood.

Further along in the poem he says “Believe it when you see it” (Line 7), which gives the reader insight to some of Turners experiences in the war.

There are always stories in the news about the war; some so outrageous it’s hard to actually take in.Indeed, the poet’s evolving vision became increasingly marked by a rich interplay of past and present, of the history and culture of the United States and those of other lands.Very often Komunyakaa’s poetic inquiries into the nature of identity and experience are retrospective.In the poem “My Father’s Love Letters,” for example, the poet confesses his desire to slip a warning into the note he writes to his mother on behalf of his illiterate father that “Mary Lou Williams’ ’Polka Dots & Moonbeams’/ Never made the swelling go down.” This 1940 ballad, written by the team of Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen but whose performance by African American jazz vocalist Mary Lou Williams is remembered by the poet, captures the euphoria of a young couple’s first dance; its romantic imagery stands in sharp contrast to the bleak reality of a marriage after the magic wears off.The line also highlights the conflict between the boy’s desire to assist his father in his quest to lure his wife back to him despite his past history of physical abuse and his simultaneous wish that his mother would keep her present distance and stay safe.Thesis Statement: * Topic- Yusef Komunyakaa “Facing It” * Critical Opinion-Viewing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial often brings back many real and uneasy memories for a Vietnam Veteran. The experience of being there, seeing first-hand the atrocities of war. As these things are relived, the experiences, while old, become new again. “The booby trap’s white flash” (Komunyakaa 847) that killed Andrew Johnson.The first poem in this volume, “Camouflaging the Chimera,” focuses on the soldier’s desire to blend into the landscape in order to conceal himself from the enemy and to carry out his murderous mission. Ciara Desmond In the poem “Facing It” by Yusef Komunyakaa, the speaker is remembering his experiences in the Vietnam War and all the soldiers whose lives were lost.The tone of the poem is very emotional, combining the speakers fear and sadness for what was and what could have been as he reads the names on the wall. I’m flesh.”(Line 5), he is comparing two things that are very different to one another.His vulnerability is illustrated as he says “I said I wouldn't, dammit: No tears. Stone is perceived as a strong, indestructible object where as flesh is easily penetrated and weak.


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