Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Facing It-Pathos

I could not help but notice the strong use of pathos Komunkyakaa uses in this poem to capture the true meaning and feelings of the situation for his readers. It is no doubt that this poem as an emotional appeal as it refers to the narrator visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Right as the poem begins, the reader is hit with pathos. Especially in the line "I said I wouldn't, dammit: No tears. I'm stone. I'm flesh." (Komunyakaa 3-5). This reveals an inner struggle between the narrator and fighting to hide his emotions in order to display a strong character. Although, the environment around him flashes against the memorial. This proves the memorial is more to him than just a stone. It represents a fight of which he is emotionally tied to. One that even life's distractions can not pull him away from.

Komunkyakka, Yusef. "Facing It." Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 4th ed. New York: Longman, 2012. 552.Print


  1. I though the same thing and realized that this poem was about an inner struggle for a man who was a Vietnam war veteran. This memorial to me seems to mean a great deal to this man, however, it almost seems that his feelings towards this memorial are very love/hate because he likes to remember his fallen comrades but at the same time does not like to remember how they passed.

  2. I too thought this poem pulls at you emotionally. Yusef is a vet himself and I feel he has a hard time with the Vietnam war and because of that so many other things are spiral out of control for him. He certainly has a "love hate" relationship with the Memorial.