Latinas: A Social and Cultural Survey

Asynchronous Assignment on Year of the Dog by Deborah Paredez

Deborah Kalb: What inspired you to write Year of the Dog, which focuses on the Vietnam War and its legacy?

Deborah Paredez: A couple of things. The first thing was a lifelong obsession with the legacies of the Vietnam War, especially in Latino communities. My father was a Mexican immigrant, and he got his citizenship papers just in time for his draft notice.

When he returned from Vietnam, it was not talked about, but it took up space in the household. I began writing about it to fill the void. This was the book I was meant to write.

Also, I remember as a kid that because it wasn’t talked about, I would pore over photographs and snapshots from Vietnam, thinking maybe if I look, I’ll get some answers. It was part of the archive of my understanding of the war.

The war was hyper-documented through iconic images we have, and simultaneously, there’s so much we have to [undo] because we assume we know it.




1. Listen to or read the interview with Kim Phúc

How the Vietnam War’s Napalm Girl found hope after tragedy

2. Read the section on Kim Phúc by Deborah Paredez (Pages 57-76)

Year of the Dog (Selection)- D- Paredez

3. Pick ONE of the following topics and discuss how Paredez uses different poetic tactics to share the voice of Kim Phúc and show:

.the horror of napalm attacks in Vietnam (pages 58-61)

.different reactions and effects of the iconic photograph by Nick UT (pages 63-69)

.healing through the perspective of a father-daughter relationship (Page 71)

.reflections on being a survivor of the war (Pages 73-76)

*225-words minimum*


OPTION TWO (Designed by Professor Ramsey Scott)


Write a poem that includes one or more of the following:

.description of a family photograph;

.reference to a family holiday tradition or ritual of some kind;

.use of a punctuation mark as a metaphorical figure;

.lastly, you might experiment with enjambment–that is, with ideas that run from one line, to the next, drawing the reader down the length of the poem in a search for resolution or completion (which may, or may not, arrive).

(Each of the above appears in Deborah Paredez’s book of poems; look for them as you enjoy reading her work.)

36 thoughts on “Asynchronous Assignment on Year of the Dog by Deborah Paredez”

  1. I think the most notable poetic tactic that Deborah Paredez uses in “Kim Phuc in the Temple of Cao Dai” is seen in 59 where she uses two parts of the infamous picture that shook the world. Most people that have seen this picture were left astonished by the vivid imagery. Deborah Paredez is able to use this to create the same visual effect in this poem. The way she is able to use pieces of this infamous picture with the way she has inserted the words of the poem paint quite a vivid imagery of how Kim Phuc was feeling at the time the picture was taken. She compares Kim Phuc to a bird thus the two pieces of the image that is used are of her arms. This is a great way of using the picture to advance this narrative and also leaves a lasting impression on those of us reading the poem. I also liked how Deborah Paredez made great use of spacing out her words in “Kim Phuc in the Blast” to resemble the dropping of napalm bombs. The way Paredez is able to space out these words and phrases resemble how these napalm bombs must have looked when they were being dropped on the people of North Vietnam. It serves to give us readers an imagery of what Kim Phuc must have been seeing as her village was brutally attacked. It gives us a sense of distress just as Kim Phuc must have felt when she was living through this traumatic experience.

  2. Paredez used a number of ways to share Kim Phúc which included using the actual image about her in the poems. She also was very descriptive in the way she spoke about the event that happened. In pages 58-61 you can see this. For example on page 59, there is a poem which describes what happens but also contains images of the girl in the picture. The images in the poem can touch a reader’s emotions and help them connect more and understand the horrors that happened in Vietnam. The poem called Kim Phuc and The Temple Of Cao Dai is a poem that describes the aftermath of the explosion and how they were feeling. She states, “No place safe left… Two handfuls of soldiers.” Here you see that they are not safe at all, have nowhere to go and hide from the chaos happening and only have a few soldiers to protect the many lives around them. The poem called Kim Phuc In The Blast uses different lines from other writings that I believe describe Kim Phuc experiences. This is a great way to explain her experience because now you can see the different ways people understood her stories but also see that they all explain the horror and the pain that she went through. They also mention the chaos and destruction that had happened that day.

  3. Option two:

    I was three years old
    I could see a big rectangular white box
    Right in the center of the living room.

    Someone carried me up — I saw you
    Eyes closed, cotton in your nose, white shirt.
    I called you — No answer.

    Years passed, I got older
    I realized why your eyes were closed that day
    It was not because you wanted to.

    I cannot remember your voice
    That hurts!
    But I have some memories
    You’re smiling in all of them.

    Your pain is gone
    You’re my angel
    Death will not separate us.

    Te amo pa.

    *(a reference to a ritual of some kind) A funeral is considered a ritual depending on the culture. Therefore, I decided to share this poem about my father’s funeral in the Dominican Republic.

    Rosa Tejada

  4. Paredez uses different poetic tactics like metaphors and symbolism to share the voice of Kim Phúc and display the hardships she went through. Paredez starts off with Frame 1 describing the infamous picture that Kim Phuc is in, “it’s a picture that never rests”. This metaphor explains how the picture followed Phuc. The idea that the picture doesn’t rest shows how it used to follow Kim Phuc in a woeful way for her. In the interview she explains that the picture never left her to the point that she dropped out of school in order to do publicity. The picture never resting seems to have an exhausting effect on Kim Phuc; she can never reduce the effect on that picture on the world as “The Napalm Girl” and more on her. She said “ I didn’t have any freedom to do whatever I wanted”, stuck with the impact of that picture. In Frame 4, Paredez wrote “ I wish to use my body as a torch to dissipate the darkness to awaken love among people..”. The metaphor shows the complexity of Kim phuc’s impact on herself and on the entire world. She was in a dark place for so long, resenting her experience and questioning her extenticse, when she did find the “light” and helped others she found purpose in her self guiding victims just like her. Her story helped people understand the extensive impact on the war in Vietnam, she helped thousands of children affected by war. Paredez said it best she “dissipat[ed] darkness “ and spread hope and awareness to this cause.

  5. Paredez was able to share in different ways the story behind Kim Phuc and how these stories played a role in her life. She used pictures and not only words to give us a detailed description of the events that had happened. She helped our imagination to not only create a certain image but compare the image of what we would imagine to the actual pictures that were used. Paredez is very descriptive with her words, which can be seen in the pages 58-61, the usage of the poem describes not only the events that happened but also the girl that is found in the picture. The way she uses her skills and these tools makes her able to reach and touch the emotions of the reader, make them connect to a certain point where they can understand the horrors of what happened in Vietnam. The “temple of Cao Dai” and “Kim Phuc” touch upon, and describe the aftermath of the explosions and their feelings. She writes these poems and tries to describe what happened through the feelings of Kim Phuc in order to better experience and understand the experiences she went through. People come from different backgrounds and have lived different lives, so sometimes it is hard to make them understand someone else’s suffering as a third party, by using her emotions and story she channels her self and becomes part of the main protagonist, which helps the reader not only understand her stories better, but understand the pain and horror she went through.

  6. Option 2 (I tried to implement each one of Prof. Scotts instructions).

    Sharp and colorful they pose for a picture to pause the moment in time.
    Four generations of women,
    Because each one before knows the moment is precious and tomorrow is not promised.
    Four wide smiles with the youngest one the purest.
    Because a mother’s lips become deeply lined by the satisfaction of her sanctified sacrifices over time.
    Priceless periods captured on paper tainted by pigmented dots, an end for one and a start for another.
    Periods that end sentences and stories so that the next one can begin.
    Easter Sunday the resurrection of Jesus, and of cousins who come around only when life is hopping with happiness.
    Families can be big in size but care so very little.
    Four generations hugged for a photo and for love to be remembered even after the period ends.

    Remember when fathers [____], and mothers [___]?
    Remember the name of your favorite childhood [___]?
    Remember when imaginations ran [___]?
    Remember when [___] got shaped into controlled order?
    Remember the last time you [___]?

    Traditions are broken as generations die
    and new ones are not made because creativity has been killed by new media.
    No one eats at the table without their phones and no one looks up to say bless you anymore.
    Generations are cut short,
    sometimes in the middle,
    because health insurance isn’t free and this country is so divided.
    No one can help us, so we help ourselves to our own helping without the help of others.
    Mothers and daughters are dying because America has been bleeding them dry before menopause can.
    And we don’t get them back.
    All we can do is hold on to their [___].

    1. Indeed you were able to integrate all the poetic prompts and reflect on the importance of family pictures, holidays but also a general feeling of societal breakdown and media trivialities. Excellent job!

  7. Option 1

    Deborah Paredez used different ways to share Kim Phuc’s story, which one of them is sharing an image that reflects what happened to her. In the short piece Kim Phuc In The Temple Of Cao Dai, we are shown two images, which is Phuc’s arm. I enjoyed how Paredez structured her poem because there are two images shown, but she has words around the images describing her pain. Paredez compared her inner pain to a bird. The bird’s wheezing is the pain as the fire burns her arms. The reader can feel the pain that the girl is feeling. Especially the images that she displays is to show the readers the pain that Phuc felt. In this piece, she explains that there is no safe place. Especially in a temple is a place where is religious and that it suppose to be safe, but in this situation, she describes that it’s not safe at all. Not even a place that you are taught that is supposed to safe and no harm is not safe at all: “No place safe left save the village temple or so you’ve all been told.” This phrase is clearly what I was talking about, in which a temple is a place to be safe, but it’s not anymore. Paredez used pictures to show the horror of the attack in Vietnam. The pictures only show one person’s pain, but there are many others who suffered like Phuc.


    DíA DE LOS [_]

    DíA DE LOS [_]

    Your Soul leaves…

    Y se queda tu cuerpo

    Celebramos lo que has hecho. On your gravesite lay out candles and pictures,

    We don’t cry, but in fact rejoice… During this weekend known for being malicious.

    Your spirit stays here to fill the void. Not Hallo-[_]. It is a day to turn a new leaf.

    No jack-o-lanterns, costumes, or trick-or [_] Skulls may scare, our calaveras represent peace.

    DAY OF THE [_] DíA DE LOS [_]

    Here we collect candy,

    read signs that say BOO!

    En la tierra de mis padres

    We sip hot [_],

    Y pasamos recuerdos,

    to remember you.

  9. Paredez demonstrates many ways in which she describes Kim as a survivor of the war. One way in particular is described by the photograph that was taken of her as a child. This photograph shaped Kim’s life and because of it she was forced to face the reality of her trauma. In the interview she also describes that during her younger days, she viewed the picture and would cry because it would remind her of all the pain she went through and all the damage it had caused on her mental health. However, as she grew older she discovered that the photograph only made her stronger and her scars were a symbol of her strength. In addition to this, at the very end of the poems, Paredez describes Kim in Mexico at the top of the Temple of the Sun. This part stood out to me the most because the temple of the sun is known to hold the bodies of other survivors and Kim being there is a symbol of survival.

  10. Option 1:
    Paredez discussed several ways to share Kim Phúc, which included using her in the poem’s image. She also was very descriptive in the way she spoke about the event that happened. One of the poems I have read was this: “By the time the body’s caught in the camera’s eye the subject turns object- arms are winged blackbird’s eye view of the strikes what strikes the eye is the body flayed naked the naked eye can’t see the eyes in the back of the back no skin off the back straw breaking the camel’s eye of the need the blind eye of just the scales falling from the eyes opened morning papers.” (page 65). Kim Phúc describes her images of what she had been through back in the Vietnam War. Another view Paredez had discussed was that she compared her inner pain to a bird. The bird’s wheezing is the pain as the fire burns her arms. I felt the pain as I was reading, to be honest. What I learned from Paredez was that a temple is a place where it is religious and supposed to be safe. A certain situation like this is still happening today. Overall, People come from different backgrounds and have lived different lives. It is a crime to have such suffering in life. Life is fragile. It is about the sadness and the happiness that people can achieve. End.

  11. In Kim Phúc by Deborah Paredez, the author uses a variety of ways to not only share the voice of Kim but to make the reader feel like they were witnessing the event first hand. In her section on the napalm attacks and the horrors, it caused specifically during “Kim Phúc in the Blast” repeating words and descriptive words that truly depict the horrors of the attack in a clear light. The formatting and different fonts she uses creates a sense of calamity and chaos that something is not right. This allows the reader to almost feel how Kim would have felt during the event. This is even more prevalent in the last page of this specific poem as the words become almost nonsense, this can relate to the state of shock and loss of consciousness Kim felt while she was injured. It is almost as if we were in the mind of Kim Phúc and were hearing her thoughts as she felt weaker and could only focus on one thing, her injury. The images presented in “Kim Phúc in the Temple of Cao Dai” are part of the famous photograph of her as a child stripped of her burning clothes and injured, these images give a sense of horror to the reader. The same poem provides a metaphor about an injured bird that is a bad omen and the darkened burned arm of Kim and how the two relate to such a traumatic event she experienced as the whole world watched.

  12. First, I saw the picture of Thi Kim Phùc when I was in middle school in China. I was shocked at that moment. The war caused too much pain. In the interviews, she claims that she was angry and disliked the naked photo of herself, but as time passed, she gradually realized that the photo proved to the world how terrifying the war is. By now, it is hard for people to understand the fear and uneasiness of being caught up in the middle of the war, but it is a memory that will remain with the victims for a lifetime. Hence, you can connect the story with page 73-76. In the poem, KIM PHUC IN THE SPECIAL PERIOD; ’Everyone here know where there’s blood there is sugar that must be controlled’. This part can also relate to people who have been through the war and the empire. It gives the reader a quick hint about the ‘sugar’ that she mentioned. In the end of page 74, ‘I will burn, I will live, I will leave’, where it can be related to what Kim Phúc mentioned in the interviews; she used to hate, but when it came to helping people who are younger than her, she decided to fight the psychological pain. In my personal view, I think this is a turning point to help Kim Phúc to retraumatize herself simultaneously. In other poetry, ‘Kim PHUC IN THE TEMPLE OF THE SUN’ matches theme and context as well. The war does cause not only physical trauma but also psychological. Kim Phúc’s story is believed to be the trigger to end the war. However, when she was questioned constantly from all around the world, she chose to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor to start helping others: “The sun at your back, a yoke tethering the body to the earch it must break.” In Page 76, Paredez indicated that the war is like the ‘yoke’, affecting Kim’s life, but she obligates her life over and over again to give birth to themselves.

  13. The horror of napalm attacks in Vietnam
    Kim Phucs story emerged in 1972 when the South Vietnamese planes dropped a napalm bomb. The poet, Deborah Paredez, highlights the devastating horror incidents by describing Kim’s burns as the “barsky burn unit”. The nine-year-old Kim got the blazing burns from the bombing, which signified the terrific war that left the young girl in pain, running down the streets naked, and her arms out like crippled wings. Her picture, taken by Nick Ut, one of the press photographers, remains to be one of the most iconic images that portray the horror of the Vietnam War to the world. The photo is thought to be largely responsible for hastening the end of the U.S. involvement in the war.
    The author uses the alliteration poetic tactic in the second stanza; “shuttered indoors now shuddering.” This poetically describes the situation in a very creative way, focusing the readers’ attention on the attack’s chaotic nature. Assonance is also a poetic tactic evident in the second stanza where the author states, “No! An Omen!” The repetition of the three vowel sounds creates an internal rhyme that enables the reader to connect with the subject matter. Further, the author tries to symbolize the story as that of bad luck based on the terrific war tragedy. Repetition is another poetic tactic featured in the second stanza, where Paredez states, “now shuttered indoors now shuddering now”. The word “now” is repeated to emphasize the present effect of the war on Kim Phucs cousin, Danh. Although the poem focuses on Kim and her cousin Danh, the napalm girl rises beyond the scars and becomes a star. She leaves the historic marks of a young survivor from the brutal terrific war to an iconic woman who supports children victims of tragic wars.

  14. Napalm attacks

    Kim Phúc’s voice is very prevalent in the poem when talking about the horror of napalm attacks in Vietnam. The use of enjambment shows the tough situations, by keeping the reader glued to the poem, expecting an end. The first couple of lines portrays this. The continuity of the poem shows that the pain and suffering isn’t over, just like the sentence. As you read further on the author becomes more descriptive about the fires. She describes the fires as phosphorous, slithering like a snake through the temple. These descriptive remarks set up for when the author speaks, which are the italicized words. This helps bring the reader to the perspective of the author at the time of her speaking. She re directs the reader to here like when the bombs were dropping, she changed the subject to the fire that was close to her. Enjambment helps to portray towards the reader a change in subject. This is due to the drastic situation the author was in. Whether having bombs drop or fire blazing, the enjambment helps the reader know what was going on at that time.

  15. Option 2

    Chinese New Year

    It was the time of the year

    Family members gather and share

    No matter if the year was luck or suck

    All you need is some red

    And you will be the next lucky duck

    Red envelopes, red post

    It will scare away the next scary ghost

    Forget about the troubling fate

    Is time to eat and gain some weight

  16. I see you but don’t recognize you
    I heard of you but never really talked to you
    As a child I was asked questions of the person in the photograph
    That I’ve never seen, touch or hold
    I knew you were special the way mama would talk about you
    I’ve cried once because I’ve never got to see you
    I wanted to know you
    A part of me is with you
    A part of me has gone with you
    A part of me will never forget
    A part of me of you remains
    You’re gone but never forgotten abuelo
    Your picture I hold dearly
    Close to me
    Which I’ll never let go

  17. Paredez shows Kim’s voice and shows different perspectives of first viewing the famous picture by using fragmented thoughts and separate frames. The poetry is very interesting in that it doesn’t seem complete and I believe that is an important aspect of understanding what it was like to initially see the famous image. The shock and loss for words is captured within the line spacing and short lines. The separate frames allows for the reader to understand the transfer of persepective, each with their own title and view point. Some of the perspectives are fuller in thought showing that although some were left almost speechless others were left with too many words. It was powerful for Paredez to leave Kim Phuc’s voice for last in order to truly understand how her perspective is different. Other people were left speechless and yet she was left to view herself in such a state, never to be able to forget that image. She had to go through a journey to understand that the image was necessary for the peace of her people. After hearing the interview it is so clear to understand why Paredez chooses to use to columns and space out the lines in such a way. It took years for Kim Phuc to be able to love herself and understand that her life had to go on and that the picture was not all that she could be. It took years for her to understand that although something terrible happened to her it allowed for good things. The poem is able to capture perfectly the time and space it takes for something so painful to heal.

  18. Whenever I hear people bring up the Vietnam war, they always complain about how the United States, the same country that turned the tide in WWll, the same country that could go head to head with the USSR, the country that was able to become the face of Capitalism, was able to get beaten in a war that wasn’t as near as severe as the other battles they had to engage in. But they often fail to recognize the amount of unfortunate souls that were caught in the crossfire, most of them being defenseless villagers that did not want to involve themselves in this war: elderly people, children, mere babies. They fail to recognize just how damaging the war truly was. Over time, many people have stepped forward and wrote articles about the war, protested against the damage Vietnam went through, and the brute force the Americans implemented, something most people considered unnecessary. Along with the complaints, photos were also released of the tragedy, the most iconic being the one of a young and naked Phan Thi Kim Phuc, in clear pain and horrified of the napalm strikes occurring behind her. A particular poet would use this picture to her advantage, implementing the photo itself in a poem that, in my opinion, makes it twice as impactful.
    The poem itself, titled “Lim Phuc in the temple of Cao Dai”, tells the sad tale of Kim attempting to escape the horrors, finding peace within one of the temples, but that doesn’t last long. The poem starts off normally, until the very end, where fragments of the infamous photo appear long the broken poem, the verses all over the place in a jumbled mess. Not only is the poem intentionally disfigured to give a sense of chaos around Kim, but the photo itself is a cruel reminder of the living hell some of the Vietnamese had to go through. The napalm strikes would be described as flames everywhere, an ever-growing smoke, and how there was nothing but chaos everywhere, truly haunting.

  19. Reflections on being a survivor of the war by Kim Phúc, the poem in the special period of Havana, Cuba, spring 1992, Phúc shows the impacts she experienced in Cuba face throughout their economic crises. The blood sugar as quoted in her poem is the principle agricultural economy in Cuba, Cubans relied heavily on sugar exports but sugar production declined since the break-up of the soviet union. Phúc being the protagonist in her poem knows she’s not alone on these needs, food is controlled when she says doctor prescribe special dietary instructions. “There’s no fuel so no one’s going anywhere soon” highlights the lack of automobiles and the means of moving anywhere in Cuba. The author grew use to this special way of living but it was evident the social power of the Cuban’s bourgeoisies when Phúc mention “in the countryside smoke stacks loom billowless. In the city people wait in the line under a billowless sky”. Human rights are limited and she learned throughout her experience in Cuba.

  20. Option one: Topic – the horror of napalm attacks in Vietnam
    Kim Phuc’s interview on how the Vietnam war impacted her was very moving. The photo taken by Nick Ut, reflects the pain Phuc was in at just the age of 9 years old. Phuc had no idea what is going on around her and why her community are being under attacked. It was just pure chaos. Deborah Paredez’s father is a Mexican immigrant that drafted to the Vietnam war. Since school lacked history on the Vietnam war, she was forced to learn about the war on her own. One of her favorite ways to learn about the war was to read books, especially the ones with photos of the war. In “Year of the Dog”, Paredez writes multiple poems regarding the history and photos she sees regarding the Vietnam war. On page 60, the poem “Kim Phuc in the Blast”, the way the poem is written and structured clearly shows the chaotic environment Phuc is in. Her skin burning, friends and family running, bombs being launched all around them. Even Phuc thoughts are passing by so fast that she is confused on what exactly is currently happening. Unable to really grasp the horrible event she is witnessing, even thinking if it is a horrible nightmare.

  21. To show the different reactions and effects of the iconic photograph by Nick UT, Deborah Paredez incorporates different tactics in her work to share the voices of Kim Phuc and Nick UT. When reading frame one on page 63, the spacing between each line made me realize how shocking that moment must have been for Nick UT. The use of one or two words per line shows how it is difficult for UT to relive that moment. This is shown in the line where Deborah Paredez writes, “It’s a picture that never rests.” Being there to take that picture was very traumatizing because it is continually being remembered. In frame four on page 69, the spacing between the lines also add a sort of suspense, but they also show that it was difficult for Kim Phuc to share her story. At first, Phuc did not understand why the picture was taken but then the use of the metaphor “I wish to use my body as a torch to dissipate the darkness, to awake love among people, and bring peace to Vietnam.” Although what Phuc experienced was very traumatizing and painful, she wants to use her body as a symbol of peace. This experience led her to help other children, victims of war because Phuc knew how it felt to be in such a dark place, and she did not want others to feel alone.

  22. Option 2

    Tu cuerpo llego a Mexico, pero tal vez no como tu quisieras

    Tu madre, vieja y cansada, no se dio cuenta.

    Tus hijas a tu lado, y tu esposa en casa.

    Como le gustaria estar ahi.

    Pasaron tres años y aun te cargo con migo.

    Tu cara, permanentemente feliz.

    Prefiero recordarte con tu cara sonriente

    y no como te vi.

    Aunque el Rosario es solo nueve días,

    Estoy de luto todo el año.

    Pero entre toda las Ave Marias y Padre Nuestros,

    Tu cara se hace mas borroso,

    Se me olvida como lumbraba tus ojos cunado sonreias,

    Ya no reconozco el olor de tu perfume.

    Cuando pasa eso, saco tu foto y te recuerdo otra vez.

    Y te cargo conmigo hasta el proximo Rosario.

  23. The Poetic tactics that Paredez uses is unique and very effective when describing the horrific event that Kim Phùc had experienced during the Vietnam War. When Paradez introduces Kim’s story, the poem lays out the setting, the atmosphere and environment Kim and those around her were in. The following part described the how horrific and painful being napalmed is. Paredez breaks the poem up in a way the is meant to emphasize and show how Kim’s reaction in the famous photo showed her arms laid out like a cross or a bird as Paredez describes it. The symbolic meaning she drew from it, gave a deeper meaning to Kim’s pain that she experienced in that moment, “the bird in her/ howling/ and/ cursing.” This description of how Kim had felt, basically summed up how the war was truly meaningless and violent. It was a war that was just cruel and truly horrific, when we connect the experiences of those who were in Vietnam. Which the last part of the poem depicts, specifically the description of the napalm in the air, the way in which Kim felt, how she ran and what her running meant. “Unwritten rule of engagement: no fire directed at unarmed Vietnamese unless they were running runningrunningburning Anyone running could be assumed to be fleeing Viet Cong and therefore fair game.” This part of the poem really expresses the situation in which Kim was in, where even the innocent were targeted and Paredez illustrates a powerful message through telling the audience Kim’s story.

  24. 6 People, 1 Bed

    All in one bed , Three generations.
    Sleep, laugh, cry
    What a family reunion.

    Four legs has the bed
    And twelve above
    Amor en su pura expresión.

    The time has passed
    The day has come
    And family is together

    There was a flight
    That got people together
    The blood and the heartbeats

    *The description of a picture, my family sleeping together when my grandparents came from the dominican Republic last christmas.

  25. Option 2

    (WW2 from the perspective of Soviet soldiers)

    ’41 Ilya (22 years old, Belarusian)
    The Germans really did it. They actually did it.
    Brest Fortress, June 1941
    To think this is where it all started
    To think that our leadership didn’t even consider it possible.
    This is where it all started.

    ’42 (Vladimir 26, Russian)
    They’ve reached Moscow
    It feels like 10 years since the War started
    We don’t know how many we’ve lost but we soon will
    Why birch trees, why do you cry?
    Do you cry for our countrymen, who lie bleeding out into the grass?
    I’ve already lost uncle Grisha and uncle Volodya.
    They had entire families, mouths to feed
    Who will take care of them now.

    43′ ( Sasha 17, Ukraine)
    They’re coming. We sit in a well-fortified position.
    The attackers will be at a disadvantage. We sit in the salient.
    We’ve learned after watching them butcher our brothers.
    We have 2,000 more tanks than them, but they have better tanks
    We have more men than them, but they have better training.
    We make put three of our fingers and make the sign of the cross across our bodies
    Stalin explicitly prohibits making gestures towards, God as it goes against the State
    But we might die here anyway, so what the hell?

    44′ (Vasiliy 32, Georgia)
    We’re pushing them back.
    At this point were sending men out there to die so we can make it faster to Berlin
    Zhukov is a capable general, but he’s even trying to out-do himself
    Were nearing Germany’s borders
    I wish I could empathize when I see them suffer
    They will pay for what they’ve done.

    45′ (Gennadiy 20, Estonia)
    Berlin is a ghost town
    Yes, in small pockets they still exist but the German threat is imperceivable now
    Did they really all die fighting us?
    All I see is dogs begging for scraps
    I’ve lost my belongings in the advance, all but my photo of my darling Masha
    After 5 years of war, I will finally see her and get married
    They say we will win the war in a few days now
    I hear my comrades celebrating
    I don’t want to think of the war anymore
    These don’t think people are made to understand this kind of loss
    These feelings are too deep for words

  26. Option 1
    I’m not very knowledgeable on poetic tactics, however – the quick step by step breaks in the sentence structure seems to depict Kim Phuc’s fear in the moments immediately during and after the attack, maybe comparable to a pounding heart and the rush of adrenaline, and this choppy structure also could be depicting the natural reaction in that fear, the hyper-awareness that comes with being hit by the fight-or-flight response. The continuation of the poem changes in structure, breaking words, and phrases with large spacing from left to right, the drastic variation in font size and style from word to word is a very effective way of presenting chaos in writing. The font stylization is chosen with purpose – italicized writing depicts Phuc’s first-person perspective, and the word spacing there and the specific location of the words is used to create a vivid emotional visualization of terror, motion, sight and sound.

  27. Paredez in her poem uses words that allow the readers to analizy that something tragic has ended and although it was painful there is still hope. Sentences like ‘ There’s no fuel..bring the idea of the war is over, however it is followed by sickness, people needed special dietary and supported words such as “your not alone..: allows to identify that the war was over.
    Pictures are great to immediately catch the face’s emotions or identify places, but this poem stanzas does the same, i thought about the burned girl who could probably be the one needed the special dietary written on the poem and people telling her “you given up on medicine and ..learning the enemy language” the poem helps the readers create images. Paredez does a great job on sharing the voice of kim, the poem narrates pain, disaster but also hope and survival. To end the poem she uses rhyming to create a survival cheering song that projects hope and strength after the war reminded me of kim dream to be a doctor after she was burned and also that even though she felt like she was not a girl anymore due to her burns she continued to open a foundation to help children on war.

  28. Option 2

    It is the feeling of never knowing how
    when where or why it will happen
    we accept it is inevitable of when it is one’s time to go
    though we may not want to face the fact this is life

    This pandemic really struck the homes of loved ones
    The healthiest man onto a ventilator within a week
    Families torn apart without the chance of goodbye
    Hospitals trading equipment in order to save them all

    As I look at the family photo of my parents, siblings and i, just us five
    I realize how grateful I am able to close this year with them by my side
    The hardest thing I realized too was that I am not ready for that time
    We are captured smiling and laughing where i never want it to end!

    it is one of the toughest things to accept when it comes
    all i can do is appreciate and love all of them everyday
    to lose someone close is a feeling i have yet to have
    this year taught me to hold on tight because one never knows

  29. Option 1
    Listening to the interview with Kim Phúc and reading “Year of the Dog” by Deborah Paredez, she uses different poetic tactics to share the voice of Kim Phúc such as symbolism and metaphors to share their voice and share the hardships that they went through. Paredez describes the picture that Kim Phuc is in, and this metaphor explains how the picture followed Phuc through the years of time. The idea that the picture doesn’t rest shows how it used to follow Kim Phuc in a very sorrow manner. In the interview she explains that the picture never left her to the point that she dropped out of school in order to do publicity. The picture seems to me that it has a tight grip and everlasting in the most complicated way, effect on Kim Phuc. She states, “I didn’t have any freedom to do whatever I wanted”, and that shows in itself to have an everlasting effect on her. Paredez also wrote “I wish to use my body as a torch to dissipate the darkness to awaken love among people.” and this metaphor shows the type of impact she has on herself and on the entire world. She was I a deep place for a very long time and her story being shared in a way helped her cope with it all.

  30. Option Two

    That day on the Green Hill
    is one of the few vivid memories I have of my family together
    It was random, growing up we lived in a routine
    but every so often there would be random days,
    days where my mother and father would make plans before falling asleep
    or last minute plans my father dreamed up

    It was before my dad lost his mind, so he was still handsome
    He looked healthy too and strong, he must have still been eating
    Daniela had her round face in the photo, the old Daniela face that terrorized us, but only mildly
    and the sweet Camila who sucked her thumb, before she stretched and became Mila

    My mom isn’t in the pictures that day, just the four of us tumbling in the hill
    I guess she was away that day, she would have never let any of our underwear show in the pictures
    My dads easy eyes let it slip

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