Sunday, April 10, 2011

Poem of the Week: "Camouflaging the Chimera," by Yusef Komunyakaa

I recently borrowed a copy of HBO's 2010 mini-series, The Pacific, from my library.  I'm slowly making my way through the series, and it's really something.  It's about the Pacific theater of World War II, a topic I'm ashamed to admit I know almost nothing about.  The cast is really good, the camera work is lovely, and the story is super-interesting.  But none of that takes away from how brutal the whole thing was at its most basic level.  It reminds me of the work of my favorite war poet, Yusef Komunyakaa.  I've name-checked Komunyakaa on here many times before, as he was one of the first poets with whom I fell in love.  His work really gets at the horribleness of war, but the images are always very striking.  Well, here he is again, with one of his poems about the Vietnam War.

Camouflaging the Chimera, by Yusef Komunyakaa

Note:  Today is the 86th anniversary of the 1925 publishing of The Great Gatsby.  So a very happy birthday to my favorite novel of all time!

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