Presentation on theme: "“And in the end, of course, a true war story is never about war. It’s about sunlight. It’s about the special way that dawn spreads out on a river when."— Presentation transcript:
“And in the end, of course, a true war story is never about war. It’s about sunlight. It’s about the special way that dawn spreads out on a river when you know you must cross the river and march into the mountains and do things you are afraid to do. It’s about love and memory. It’s about sorrow. It’s about sisters who never write back and people who never listen.” How to Tell a True War Story
Further our understanding of the Vietnam War experience from a soldier’s perspective through poetry Critically think about the effect the poems have on your reading of the book by reading, discussing and ranking the poems by how well they connect to the book and help you to further your understanding.
Listen to/look at the poems with an open and focused mind Activate the knowledge you have gained from the characters, events and descriptions in the book as you recognize similar events, emotions and experiences in the poems we read today For each poem, write down connections to the book on your sheet When all poems have been read/discussed you will rank the poems from 1 to 7 as to how well they allude to the big ideas presented by Tim O’Brien in our book. Which poems help explain the Vietnam soldier/war best?
TED Talks and blogs. Can these perspectives help you make a connection to the poem and the book? Class discussions. Have we touched on an idea that was echoed in a poem? What it means to tell a true war story The things they carried (as a concept) The climate of the war in Vietnam and in the U.S. Your own reading and interpretation of the book Characters, events, emotions, etc. The story-truth and the happening-truth Could there be a poem-truth?
The next step you take May lead to an ambush. The next step you take May trigger a tripwire. The next step you take May detonate a mine. The next step you take May tear your leg off at the hip. The next step you take May split your belly open The next step you take May send a sniper’s bullet through your brain. The next step you take. The next step.
You have stopped for a break, stand up To put your gear on and hear shots, See the flash of the muzzles. You have been followed. The whiteness of the branches That have been cut along the way Tells you you’re on a new trail, But the sergeant is a stateside G.I.: Barracks inspections, rules and regs. You are probably surrounded. There are five others beside you. You are twenty-three. You look quickly around you: The sky, the trees. You’re far from home. You know now that your life Is no longer yours First Encounter Leroy V. Quintana
I had a man in my sights and I pulled the trigger. I knew he would fall, but I didn’t think he would get back up and run like a wounded deer. We followed the blood trail and found only an abandoned pack. The lieutenant took the cash, the men divided the food, Intelligence was sent the love letters and I got the credit for a probably kill Intelligence reported the love letters were from a woman in the southern provinces. Which meant she was arrested, beaten, raped, locked in a tiger cage, forced to eat her own excrement and beaten again. If she confessed, she was executed. If she refused to confess, she was executed. It was a funny war, I shot a man. I killed a woman.
Roll him over carefully Align his body on an axis, east to west Fold his hands across his chest close his eyes He is gone But we remember and talk softly Someone gathers his gear Another wipes his face We cannot explain This Avoiding each other’s eyes No one told us We did not know. To come to this After so long a short life A child surrounded by children Playing---
The reason he died? He and the platoon came upon Three Vietnamese children, ages three, five and eight, Who were playing with some tied-together pieces Of nice, shiny plastic that they had found in the grass. The Lieutenant stood still But ordered the rest of the platoon to fall back. Then he asked the kids to put their toy, A double booby trap, down gently, But they did not understand And pitched it to him, And it bounced once and went boom, Gutting all four of them to shredded death. A Congressman, upon hearing of the incident From a newspaper reporter, Asked the reporter one question: “Was the booby trap theirs or ours?” And his question was the answer.
We had a deal, he and I, Of no bullshit between us. If one of us got wounded, The other wouldn’t lie. So when he got hit And he asked me, “How’s my leg?” I looked him straight in the eye And told him, “It’s fine.” It looked fine to me, Laying over there, Looked as good as new.
Hello, David- my name is Dusty. I’m your night nurse. I will stay with you. I will check your vitals every 15 minutes. I will document inevitability. I will hang more blood and give you something for your pain. I will stay with you and I will touch your face. Yes, of course, I will write your mother and tell her you were brave. I will write your mother and tell her how much you loved her. I will write your mother and tell her to give your bratty kid sister a big kiss and hug. What I will not tell her is that you were wasted.
I will stay with you and I will hold your hand. I will stay with you and watch your life flow through my fingers into my soul. I will stay with you until you stay with me. Goodbye, David- my name is Dusty. I am the last person you will see. I am the last person you will touch. I am the last person who will love you. So long, David- my name is Dusty. David- who will give me something for my pain?
It’s practically impossible To tell civilians From the Vietcong. Nobody wears uniforms. They all talk The same language. (and you couldn’t understand them even in they didn’t). They tape grenades Inside their clothes, And carry satchel charges In their market baskets. Even their women fight; And young boys And girls. It’s practically impossible To tell civilians From the Vietcong; After a while, You quit trying.
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