Facing It Poetry Essay

Topics: Herman Wouk, Vietnam War, Maya Lin Pages: 3 (1206 words) Published: April 4, 2013
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...

Cited: Bentley, Steve. “A Short History of PTSD: From Thermopylae to Hue Soldiers Have Always
Had A Disturbing Reaction to War.” The VVA Veteran Mar/Apr 2005. 23 June, 2011 http://www.vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_03/feature_HistoryPTSD.htm
Kelly, Cara. “War memorials provide place of reflection for veteran’s families.” American
Observer 17.18 (2010) 23 Jun. 2011 http://inews6.americanobserver.net/epublish/1/108
Komunyakaa, Yusef. “Facing It.” Literature and the Writing Process. Ed. Elizabeth
McMahan, Susan X Day, and Robert Funk. 8th Ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice, 2007. 713.
Wouk, Herman. War and Remembrance. New York: Pocket Books, 1978.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Poetry Essay
  • Poetry Essay
  • Poetry Essay
  • Poetry Essay
  • Poetry Essay
  • Poetry Essay
  • Poetry Essay
  • Poetry essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free