Yusef Komunyakaa Poems

Yusef Komunyakaa is an American poet born in 1941. He teaches at New York University. In 1994, he won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for his Neon Vernacular. He also received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry that same year. 

Komunyakaa finds the most inspiration from his experience growing up in the American South before the Civil Rights movement and his experiences during the Vietnam War. Read more of Yusef Komunyakaa’s Biography.

Nude Interrogation

by Yusef Komunyakaa

‘Nude Interrogation’ by Yusef Komunyakaa is one of the best examples of prose poetry, and it captures the struggles of Vietnam War veterans after their return home.

'Nude Interrogation' by Yusef Komunyakaa is an exemplary poem that uses the prose form to interpret the hazy, trauma-stained perceptions of Vietnam War veterans. While the poem never gives away its underlying meaning, it uses imagery, sensory details, and indirect speech to distract the listener from what the speaker most wants to hide.

Did you kill anyone over there? Angelica shifts her gaze from Janis Joplin poster to the Jimi Hendrix, lifting the pale muslin blouse over her head.

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