This 5 page essay compares and contrasts two poems written more than seventy years apart and that both speak to the futility and waste of war. The essay briefly addresses the tone, point of view, and subject matter, as well as proving the point that. No additional sources cited.
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- June 1998 Yusef Komunyakaa is an African-American Southerner, born and raised in Louisiana and now teaches at Princeton University. The war he writes
about in "Facing It" is the war in Vietnam. Wilfred Owen died in 1918 and had been an English teacher working in France before the onset of the "war
to end all wars." He fought in the Battle of Somme and died one week before the end of World War I. Both soldiers received honors from their
countries. Komunyakaa was awarded a Bronze Star, while Owen received Britains Military Cross. Both mens poetry express their horror and pity for the young men sacrificed to war.
Owens work is nearly exclusively about war and battle. Komunyakaas is broad-based and is as likely to be about the sound of jazz as the jungles of Vietnam.
Surely, that has something to do with living longer than Wilfred Owens brief 25 years. As individuals, the men could
not have been more different. As poets, there is an echoing quality of the same fears and same heartbreak shared by all those affected by war, regardless of the
timeframe or the conflict. Both clearly make the point that a person is forever changed by war. Interestingly, both use similar language to describe their experiences and the
effect of those circumstances. The English language contains words that more clearly lend themselves to the harsh realities of war than others. There is no sense of soothing
or calming assonance in either of the pieces. The most significant difference between these two specific poems is the fact that one takes place in the midst of a