Yusef Komunyakaa was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam as a war correspondent and managing editor of the Southern Cross. Komunyakaa is a prolific writer of prose and poetry. He received the Pulitzer Prize and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award in 1994 for Neon Vernacular, a collection of poems. His other honors include the William Faulkner Prize from the Université de Rennes, the Thomas Forcade Award, the Hanes Poetry Prize, fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. He co-translated The Insomia of Fire by Nguyen Quang Thieu with Martha Collins. Komunyakaa is a professor at Princeton University.
We Never Know
He danced with tall grass
Questions for Reflection: “We Never Know”
- How has Komunyakaa described the death of this soldier?
- How would you explain the poet’s reaction to finding the soldier? How might this compare to your own reaction?
- Why does Komunyakaa claim that “I feel in love” when seeing the soldier?” How does his reaction pay homage to the soldier?
- How is it that Komunyakaa shows respect for the dead warrior?