Analysis Of Imagery In

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Analysis Of Imagery In “Loving From Vietnam To Zimbabwe” Essay, Research Paper Cyrus Fazeli English 1B Wallace Analysis of Imagery in “Loving from Vietnam to Zimbabwe” After reading Janice Mirikitani’s poem “Loving from Vietnam to Zimbabwe” there is a profound amount of imagery used by Mirikitani that explains a reality of sex, love, and war. Mirikitani uses an interesting and unique format in the way she has written her poem. The “I” that Mirikitani uses is not referring to herself but rather another woman who is Vietnamese, or many women whom are Vietnamese. She has essentially divided her poem into two sides. One side, the left side, is where she reveals images of sex and love. On the other side, the right side, is where she reveals the imagery of war. By

dividing her poem into two sides, she is able to describe two conflicting issues that are part of the woman’s life or at some point had an impact on her life and emotions. It seems as though Mirikitani is explaining images from Vietnam. These images of sex, love, and war that she has written in respect to, are not the sex and love that we know as Americans, but the sex and love that was prevalent during the Vietnam War. Mirikitani wrote this poem in 1980, so it is possible that, she has some repressed images and feelings about the war or war in general. Mirikitani begins her poem with images of sex and love. By writing this poem, she has given a voice to many women from a country torn apart by War. It is almost as if every image she has of sex is matched with an image of war.

This reveals how the woman must deal with two realities. One reality is the life of a Vietnamese woman and another reality of sleeping with the enemy. These two realities seem to be conflicting with each other and it ultimately makes the Vietnamese woman feel that her situation is unresolved. Mirikitani draws the reader into the subject matter of her poem by the use of her figurative language imagery. She describes a relationship between a Vietnamese woman and an American soldier who is of color. By defining the soldiers skin color, she metaphorically correlates his appearance as, “large/black like the shadowed belly of a leaf.”(Stanza 16, lines 3-4) By this she is defining his appearance visually so that we see him as dark as a shadow is. It also gives the feeling that this

soldier is mysterious, and cold blooded. The relationship that the woman has with the soldier is quite difficult to understand, but without reasonable doubt, these two people have engaged in sexual activities. On the sex side of her poem, which is the left side, she visually interprets her experience with the man. Mirikitani uses several extended metaphors to describe his body, “As I move into the grassy plain of your chest” (Stanza 12, lines 3-5) is an example. Not only does she use figurative language to describe the man, she also uses it to describe the physical interaction between them. For reference, stanza seven is an example of her figurative language that I am referring to. Because of their relationship, the Vietnamese woman feels troubled because there is anger

within her due to what she feels the American soldiers have done to her people and their land. She is un-eased about having sex with this man because of her anger. One way to look at their relationship is to visualize that this woman and man are in a relationship of love and that one woman’s lust for a man ultimately leads her to pain when he is killed. The woman is left in a painful and agonizing state after the man has been murdered; which gives the poem a slight twist at the ending. After she has left the images of the man’s death with us, she reveals that love is dangerous and that, “loving in this world, is the silver splinting edge.” (Stanza 20 line 1-3) Love has been painful to her and she has been maddened and angered by it. Another way to understand their