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Word Count: 629
The common theme in Yusef Komunyakaas poems is the Vietnam War He focuses more on the experience of it rather than the reasons for the war itself In some of the poems the issue of race was more evident than others The race of all men was embraced in Camouflaging the Chimera The first word of the poem foreshadows the insignificance of color and the value of brotherhood Camouflaging the Chimera shows the dual often diametrically opposed images Recognizing that the horrific absurd and chaotic often lurk behind deceptive facades the author vividly describes the soldiers efforts to blend in with the natural environment We tied branches to our helmets We painted our faces rifles with mud from a riverbank All of the troops were the same color then The soldiers used the same thing to camouflage their skin that would be used to cover their coffins and ultimately be their final destination This is one fate they all have in common regardless of the race The poem entitled Hanoi Hannah embraces the race of blacks It is a free-spirited inspirational poem with some intent to be a reminder of some of the good things back home Hello Soul Brothers Yeah Georgias also on my mind Even for those African-Americans who did not live in Georgia thought of the state as a black mans place to live There was always excitement in Georgia Komunyakaa also acknowledges the anguish of mothers wives and lovers left behind He doesnt discriminate with color He brings to life images of women left in doorways reaching in from America In the poem Facing It all Vietnam veterans are embraced The opening line quickly dismantles any color association with the beloved Vietnam Veteran Memorial My black face fades hiding inside the black granite Color is no longer important when you have all fought the same fight shed the same blood and been shot with the same bullet All of
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