Pleasure Dome By Yusef Komunyakaa Summary

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In Yusef Komunyakaa’s, Pleasure Dome, he writes a collection of poems on war, music, and sexual relations. The poems came from works of his time as being a journalist in the Vietnam war, books he wrote in his pastime, and many of the poems are new. The poems throughout the book showcase very meaningful themes and symbols. In contrast, many of the other poems deal with racial conflicts and other major issues during this time. In his poems “We never know” and “Facing it,” he tells the story of his time before and after the Vietnam war. The first poem, “We never know,” occurs during the war. The second poem, “Facing it,” takes place many years after the war. The similarity of both poems is that they ended in the same manner. Therefore, both of the poems have a common theme. Both “Facing it” and “We never know” have the similar theme of innocent lives being taken by tragedy.
In Yusef Komunyakaa’s poem,
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The line “Kissing the ground” is perhaps the most significant line of the poem. He is signifying that he is proud of what he has done. This is shown by him turning the enemy on his back with his face showing. He wants to show off what he has done, and he wants it to be seen by everyone.
In Komunyakaa’s second poem “Facing it,” he describes a veteran after the war returning to the Vietnam War Memorial. The poem begins with, “My black face fades / hiding inside the black granite” (lines 1-2). These lines indicate that he is an African American, and his black face is not the only thing that hides in the black granite. The stone and his black face is a reminder of the war casualties that he faced. The poem continues:
I said I wouldn't, dammit: No tears.
I'm stone. I'm flesh.
My clouded reflection eyes me like a bird of prey, the profile of night slanted against morning.

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