Yusef Komunyakaa –“Facing It” 1. What is the theme of this poem? Once again, the theme should be stated in a complete sentence. Avoid merely listing the subject, and avoid summarizing the poem. Also avoid giving the theme as a partial or ambiguous idea. 2. Give a brief quote from the poem that describes a character or moment in the story/poem. Be sure to format the quote appropriately, using MLA format. Tell me what your quote tells us about the character. Explain, through an interpretation of this brief quote (focus in on specific words and phrases), HOW it tells us that. For example, if you quote that the character “had eyes as blue as a cloudless sky”…you might interpret that to mean that we are meant to think of this character as happy and untroubled (like a cloudless sky…). Quote no more than two lines of the poem. Remember to tie individual words and phrases to your ideas. By phrase, I mean no more than two or three words. Interpret the words and phrases of your quote on as many different levels as possible. Avoid being purely literal. In case you forgot… How do you quote two lines of poetry? Like this: “I think that I shall never see/ a poem as lovely as a tree.” (1-2) 1. Use quotation marks around the quote. 2. use a forward slash mark to denote the end of the first line. 3. skip a space after the forward slash mark you put after the first line, before writing down the second line 4. If you want, you can also include the line numbers in parentheses. It is not mandatory, but it is useful. Note: This poem contains allusions to the Vietnam War and the Vietnam War Memorial. Another picture of the Vietnam War Memorial can be found here:
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