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Yusef komunyakaa: Pleasure Dome



Struggling to find a new collection of poetry, I turned to a friend and explained my assignment. She immediately told me she had the perfect collection for me because she believed it was something any young poet should read. With this in mind, I began to flip through the pages of Yusef Komunyakaa’s Pleasure Dome: New and Collected Poems.


This collection of poems comes close to 500 hundred pages. It is full of rich text that leaves the reader captivated with every passing stanza. Each poem offers the reader an enthralling experience. Despite the fact that there is a large array of poems in this collection, Komunyakaa does a fantastic job separating each and every poem. Poems such as “Imagination” and “Sorrow” lay so far apart in similarity, yet both poems seem to play off one another. I noticed this happening multiple times in Komunyakaa’s work.

Pleasure Dome is the perfect read for a hot summer’s day. One of the beauties of Komunyakaa’s collection lays in the fact that you could merely open the book at random, select a poem or two to read, and you’ll find yourself transcend into this sort of poetic sphere. One that deals much with the vitality of life and the vibrant colours present in war. Yusef Komunkayaa’s poetry allows the reader to loose themselves in the stanzas and forget about the dirty dishes that on the kitchen counter.

Imagery has always played a significant role in my personal liking of any collection. Komunyakaa’s collection offers the reader new and refreshing images; ones that have hardly been seen before. Here, I will leave you my favourite poem from Pleasure Dome. I did not manage to read the entire collection from start to finish, however, I do have a new book on my wish list!


The Nazi Doll


It sits lopsided
in a cage. Membrane.


Vertebra. This precious,white
ceramic doll’s brain


twisted out of a knob of tungsten.
It bleeds a crooked smile.


&arsenic sizzles in the air.
Its eyes an old lie.


Its bogus tongue, Le Diable.
Its lampshade of memory.


Guilt yahoo’s, benedictions
in its Cro-Magnon skull


blossom, a flurry of fireflies
vowels  of rattlesnake beads.


Its heart hums the song of dust
Like a sweet beehive.


-Shama Doshi



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