The Colonel and the Girl

583 Words3 Pages
“The Colonel” by Carolyn Forché is poem that seems to flow as a narrative, if you read it you don’t even realize that you are indeed reading a poem. It is an account from a poet who had dinner with a colonel of another country. In a way throughout the poem she is contrasting the seemingly normal aspects of a dinner, and the harsher observations of her surroundings. For example it starts with how the rest of his family was going about their day, the wife bringing in coffee the son being out for the night and the daughter filing her nails. Then it states “There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol on the cushion beside him.” She describes it as if the pistol beside him was nothing new and of no real significance, it was just something in the background just like the newspaper. This juxtaposition, of what would be considered normal and what could be alarming to most is relevant throughout the poem. At the end of the poem the speaker says “There is no other way to say this” before she describes a horrific event without any emotion, just a detailed account of events, probably intending for the audience to feel it for themselves with no bias attached to the actions. The colonel had dropped a sack of dried human ears onto the table before her, and dropped on into the cup of water, he then proceeded talking harshly swiping the ears to the floor. She concludes with “some of the ears caught this scrap of voice. Some of the ears were pressed to the ground.” I think in a sense she is indirectly addressing the audience with this detail. Saying some of her audience will hang on to the words of the colonel, and others will keep their ears pressed to the ground in hopes of new news. In this journal we are asked to discuss how the poems connect to the idea of the witness. To keep it from being viewed socially, not personally or politically, which is why I feel Forché has left out
Open Document