Vietnam Memorial Komunyakaa Analysis

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The effects of war resonate throughout a nation numerous years after the guns go silent and the peace treaties have been signed. One only has to look at the service members of past conflicts to comprehend the effect war has on those involved and our society in general. Our nation honors the sacrifices of the fallen as well as the survivors of past conflicts through museums, monuments, and memorials. Given the origin of these commemorations, they can carry a far greater significant meaning than anyone could ever possibly understand. Through the use of imagery, Komunyakaa illustrates the notion that the Vietnam Memorial is a connection between the fallen and the living that are in its presence. Komunyakaa initiates the use of imagery in the first lines of the poem when the speaker describes his emotional assimilation into the memorial during a visit. He opens the poem by stating, “My black face…show more content…
Upon reflection of his own work, Komunyakaa, regarding the Vietnam Memorial, states that, “Whoever faces the granite becomes a part of it” as well as asserting that the granite walls “constantly incorporate[e] into its shape all the new reflections and shapes brought to it” (“Facing It”). Komunyakaa’s comments regarding the setting of the memorial are captivated in his use of imagery throughout the poem. For instance, he opens the poem with the lines, “My black face fades, / hiding inside the black granite” (lines 1-2) and later remarks that one becomes incorporated into the wall when facing the large pillars of granite. Komunyakaa uses imagery to captivate the thoughts and emotions from personal experiences while visiting the memorial that perpetuate the idea that the memorial connects the souls of both the dead and the
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