Original poem reprinted online here: "The Colonel" by Carolyn Forché
Originally read: April 13, 2013
More information about the Poet: Carolyn Forché
Another difficult one to analyze because there's so much analysis on this poem. A simple google search brings up meaning a definition to: the prose poem (the poem is in a messed up format here), the images, the impact of lines, the meaning behind the parrot, the meaning behind ears, the movement of the narrative, the domesticity of the beginning, the travesty at the end, the political, the personal, the obscene, and how they fulfill all expectations.
Furthermore, there are interviews with Carolyn Forché about this poem -- the truth behind the poem, the historical representation, and her experience actually being there.
So for me, I think to myself is there any thing to add? Well I did add a lot onto the page and I wrote notes like, "The images get more and more violent and visceral as the poem goes." Well, duh, after rereading the poem the speaker will interpret the images to be violent -- even "On the windows there were grating like those in liquor stores."
And how about this, "Description trying to get away from the poetic devices to buffer. However, the bluntness/realness of the image [bleed through]." Indeed, without poetic devices to worry about the focus of the poem is the content. And the content does stand the test of time (I read this poem too many years ago, and the latest article I read about the poem was August 2013).
So this will be short, but this is what I like to add -- turn back now readers who want to find further meaning, biographies, facts about this poem. It's all there. Right before you.
Yet you have to remember that this is a poem that can be read on it's own and should be. Not for a representation for historical significance, not a technique piece where you have to beat out each image for meaning, and certainly not a piece political proof for today.
Just read the poem, note some things interesting, take a drink, relax, write what you need to, then move on. Enjoy the moment between reading the poem for the first time, then looking up and finding all the answers you need. All of them.