Analysis of "Facing It" by Yusef Komunyakaa

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  • Topic: Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Poetry, The Vietnam Veterans
  • Pages : 2 (675 words )
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  • Published : April 5, 2013
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Analysis of "Facing it" by Yusef Komunyakaa
Cruel and terrible events forever leave a mark on our memory. Especially, when these events are directly related to person, the memory reproduces every second of what happened. Unfortunately, humanity fully cognized the term of "war". "Facing it" by Yusef Komunyakaa reveals another several sides of the war. Poem tells the reader about which consequences, the war left and how changed people's lives. The hero identifies itself with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, mourns all those killed and who did not return. That is why the poem is dramatic. War has become a part of the hero's life, even after the ending.

The title of the poem "Facing it" tells the reader that, while standing in front of the memorial, described the feelings and memories are waking up in the hero. Komunyakaa writes: "My black face fades / hiding inside the black granite". The first line contains the word "black", which is repeated twice. Thus this word enhances the image of the granite memorial, gives it more tragedy and greatness, as the shadow covers the entire face. On the other hand, Komunyakaa emphasizes his own nationality. By doing this, Yusef identified himself as African-American, and forged a link between the memorial and the similarities in color. Standing in front of the memorial hero is trying to hide a sense of pain, it can be clearly seen in the lines: "I said I wouldn't / dammit: No tears / I'm stone. I'm flesh". He identifies himself with black granite as hard and strong, but on the other hand, he is a person, he is a flesh, which is alive and something feels unlike stone (Kraus 2).

The poem is full of imagery. In the second stanza Komunyakaa uses the image of "a bird of prey", thus pointing to the war, which had taken thousands of innocent lives. Hereinafter he will be back to the image of the bird. In the line: "Brushstrokes flash, a red bird's / wings cutting across my stare" poet means by "red bird's wings" the cruel pictures...
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