Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Facing. It

Facing It by Yusef Kommunyakaa is a poem based on a personal experience of an African American veteran who visits the vietnam memorial. For him the memorial is not just a tribute, it is actually a reminder of the pain and suffering that was endured. While some may visit the memorial and  pay homage, "Names shimmer on a woman's blouse but when she walks away the names stay on the wall." Yusef looks at the names on wall as memories. He has flashbacks of the time spent with these people for example "Andrew Johnson". The 58,022 reference draws attention to the reality and magnitude of the loss of the men that were killed. His inability to accept  this reality remains present especially when he expects his name to be present. "half-expecting to find my own in letters like smoke."

Honoring those who fought in the war sacrificing their lives for freedom. Whether the roles be big or small. This poem beautifully embraces the pain and real honesty of war and the affects it has on its participants. 

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