Nostalgic Memories In Yusef Komunyakaa's Facing It

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Nostalgic Memories In 'Facing It'

Just as farmers brand their livestock in order to claim them as their own, humans do the same when it comes to important events. There are certain moments in one's life when an incident is so powerful, emotionally or physically, that it leaves a mark on a person forever. The branded symbol that is left could be positive or negative, but there is no doubt that it has caused a wave of all-encompassing feeling. And although when looking back at the past the majority of our memories tend to be viewed with a black and white perception, it is these rare occurrences when a certain event can be so distinct that it is like experiencing it once more. This experience that was once felt with the body and the mind is now felt forever in the heart and soul. The nostalgic memories are not always seen as the positive memories that one wishes to. However, sometimes those are the only ones that you can remember.

Yusef Komunyakaa's poem "Facing It," written about the flooding of vibrant flashbacks of war when a veteran visits the Vietnam Veterans Memorial site, is a poem which fully incorporates an underlying theme of nostalgia. Equally, in "Ghost of a Ghost," written by Brad Leithauser, a man is distraught over the fact that despite the remembrance of his accident, his family has totally forgotten him and moved on. These poems, which apparently both deal with the issues of death and remembrance, portray a sense of nostalgic value in that one character wants to return to what he once knew, while the other is desperately trying to flee from any memory of his past experience. Mutually, the poems "Facing It" and "Ghost of a Ghost," respectively, deal with the reflection of the past as well as...

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...thing of his wife snoring those random nights he is nostalgic for. After time it was even comforting to him. The father is nostalgic for the comfort of the happiness that he received from his family.

Using Yusef Komunyakaa's poem "Facing It" and "Ghost of a Ghost," Brad Leithauser's one can see that there are certain moments in life when an incident is so powerful, emotionally or physically. Some of these moments when we look back tend to be viewed in a black and white perception. In Komunyakaa's poem "Facing It," this sense of nostalgia is shown through traumatizing flashbacks of war when visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial site. In "Ghost of a Ghost," a man is upset that his family has moved on since his death. In these poems, one character wishes they could go back to the days he once knew and the other wants to leave behind any memory of his past experience.

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