Nature In "Dien Cai Dau." Essay

599 words - 2 pages

I have chosen to provide my interpretation for two of Yusef Komunyakaa's poems ("Camouflaging the Chimera"; "Tunnels") from his collection of poems, known as Dien Cai Dau, which are, in my opinion, his most descriptive and illustrative poems of his experience and feelings from the Vietnam War. These poems are also most expressive in terms of his literary tools he chose to employ and his thoughts that he was trying to convey to the reader, and can sum up his main idea behind his numerous others. I could really identify with his experiences and his thoughts about human mortality through his words. It was as if the poems were lenses in which I could see, firsthand, what he lived through in the Vietnam War.

I decided on these poems on account of the numerous symbols and metaphors (and overall symbolism) he chose to use in order to better express his true thoughts on his experience from the War. It seemed to me, especially in "Camouflaging the Chimera", that he viewed himself along with as a piece of nature out in the wilderness, like actual extension of the Earth. He feels as though he and his 'fellow' soldiers (ally and enemy) are on the same wavelength as nature such as with the hills, the trees, and all the animals that dwell within. The animals are a key symbol in his poems as a way of conveying mother natures tolerance and even acceptance of his presence in the way of how "...Chameleons crawled our spines, changing from day to night..." and from the excerpt: "Small animals took refuge against our bodies." He expresses the feeling as if he was a veritable extension of the planet in the passage: "...as a world revolved under each man's eyelid." I think...

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