Vietnam Poetry Essay Research Paper My essay

Vietnam Poetry Essay, Research Paper My essay is a comparison of a song and a poem about the Vietnam war. The song is "Goodnight Saigon" written by Billy Joel and the poem is "No Word

Vietnam Poetry Essay, Research Paper

My essay is a comparison of a song and a poem about the Vietnam war. The song is

"Goodnight Saigon" written by Billy Joel and the poem is "No Word

Spoken" by Edward J. Domaleski. These two are very different but revolve

around one main point; the American soldiers experience in the Vietnam war. Joel

writes about the whole war experience while Domaleski writes just about one

solitary battle. Domaleski is also more detailed than Joel in his writing.

Domaleski?s lines of poetry discreetly describe the scenes of a battle, while

Joel?s generally describe the hardships of the American soldiers during the

war. "No Word Spoken" stars off by describes some soldiers marching

through a forest. They hear something, not knowing what it is they "spread

out" to investigate. Monkeys begin moving around and it is now raining, the

soldiers are told silently to be "quiet" they "don?t

breathe". They see four of the enemy, silently ordered to begin the fight,

"grenades fly" and "clips empty". Once the battle is over

and there are "no more screams" silent orders are given to get up and

search the bodies for anything valuable that can be used on their awaiting

journey. Before the soldier leaves he looks around and notices the "smell

of death", but he is silently told to go "forward". Through this

whole battle there was not a single verbal order given, it was all by hand. The

use of hand signals instead of words makes the soldiers feel lonely and

distraught. It makes a bad situation even worse. Billy Joel?s lyrics speak of

Parris Island, a place where the soldiers fought a battle. He talks about the

Americans preparation by saying that they where "sharp as knives".

This goes hand in hand with the "gung-ho" attitude of the new troops,

they felt they were ready to defend their country. "Tamelesss horses"

describes how they went in to battle and "in plastic as numbered

corpses" says how they left. They went into to battle in a state of

craziness, but were dead at the end of it. Joel also speaks of how few

possessions the Americans could have; such as a luxury item like "soft

soap". They had "no homefront" meaning they where never in one

place for a long period of time. But the government gave them

"Playboy" magazine and appearances by Bob Hope to keep the their

morale up during the war. The soldiers had believe in themselves and had to have

faith in "Jesus Christ". These two things would separate the

causalities from the survivors. The soldiers "had no cameras to shoot the

landscape" which was probably for the best, so not to remember some of the

horrors. They "passed the hash pipe" and listened to the

"Doors" just for an escape from the hell that they were in. The

soldiers were also frightened by the "dark at night" because they did

not know what was out there. The lines "remember Charlie remember

Baker" are about lost soldiers who "left their childhood on every

acre" and were to young to die. The Americans ruled "the day"

because they could see what was happening around them, but the Vietnamese had

control over "the night" because it was their environment that the war

was going on in. The Americans spent "six weeks on Parris Island"

fighting the Vietnamese. The Americans fought from "the coastline"

trying to take "the highland" away from them, but they did not know

that their enemy was "as sharp" as they were, if not even sharper. The

Vietnamese "heard the hum of our motors .. counted the rotors"; they

were waiting and ready for the American reinforcements. Which is proven in the

outcome of the war in which the Vietnamese won. Billy Joel closes with "we

will all go down together". This is why the Americans survived as long as

they did. They stuck together, "like brother to brother". I admire the

soldiers of this war more than any other war for three reasons. First, the war

may have been the hardest because they didn?t know who they were fighting.

Secondly, these American soldiers were not much older than I am now, I don?t

know if I could do what they had to. Lastly, they did not have the full backing

of their country that they were sacrificing their lives to defend, but they dove

in head first anyway. This poem and this song are memories of a traumatic yet

important time in American history. For those who experienced it, it helps them

remember that time in their lives. For those who are too young to remember it

makes the past more like reality.