One of Hertzler’s motives for writing poems seems to have been the loss of his photographs in a fire (23). Often the images in a poem sem to be an attempt to recreate a photo.

Besides sketching out some of his values about visual rhetoric in “My Grandmother and Me A Fragment,” Hertzler includes critiques of movies in several poems (38-41, 45, 48, 65-67). 

In a sense, many of Hertzler’s “War” poems are about the disparity between what is seen on the outside and what is thought & felt on the inside.

Put another way, after describing the reality on the outside, Hertzler re-connects it to the reality on the inside. There is the exception of “Napalm” in which Hertzler’s narator refuses to presume what the scared Vietnamese is thinking; nevertheless, the attention to gestures implies a lot 958). 


  • Use “First Light” for a model about war movies that shaped your life.
  • Use “John Wayne Hardly Ever Died” to critique a movie that diverged from your experience.
  • Use “Napalm” to show an enemy with his own motives.
  • Make your own prompt from any poem in the “War” section.

200 words, including reflective comments.