Reflections from a Wall
The trials and tribulations of war are not easily forgotten by those involved, and are not easily understood by those not involved. It is impossible to truly understand the emotional toll that something as devastating as war can have on a person. It is explained clearly in the poem “Soldier” by George L. Skypeck. I was that which others did not want to be. I went where others feared to go, and did what others failed to do. I asked nothing from those who gave nothing, and reluctantly accepted the thought of eternal loneliness ... should I fail. I have seen the face of terror; felt the stinging cold of fear; and enjoyed the sweet taste of a moment's love. I have cried, pained, and hoped ... but most of all, I have lived times others would say were best forgotten. At least someday I will be able to say that I was proud of what I was ... a soldier. It can also be explained using more symbolism hereby invoking empathy for those that have been there. In Yusef Komunyakaa’s “Facing It,” we feel the strong emotion of seeing the names of our fallen heroes on the Vietnam Veteran's memorial through a veteran’s eye. Pain, wounds, scars, love, hurt, anger, death, victories, losses, burdens and regrets are all elements of defining war and through “Facing It” we envision Yusef Komunyakaa’s journey of healing. The stark contrasts in this poem, past vs. present, white vs. black, and stone vs. human are what really bring this poem to life. Yusef seems as if he has been avoiding the wall for quite some time and now that he is there; he is the wall as he embodies its qualities. Yusef lets us know he is an African American veteran; this could mean he has a different perception of his experiences in the war. He seems almost invisible inside the wall with his black skin against the black granite, “My black face fades, hiding inside the black granite” (1-2). During the Vietnam War American’s were coming to terms with the Civil Rights...
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