Triolet Exposé: U.S. Concentration Camps

Japanese Americans line up in a row
relocated to desolate spaces.
Stripped of life where families grow
Japanese Americans line up in a row,
a homegrown “work camp” show.
Pearl Harbor grows enemy faces
Japanese Americans line up in a row
relocated to desolate spaces.

Brenda Warren 2012

NaPoWriMo Day 2

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15 thoughts on “Triolet Exposé: U.S. Concentration Camps

  1. I have read Snow Falling on Cedars too. Your poem is stunning, Brenda. We don’t like to think of this part of our history, but it existed. I always wonder why the Japanese-Americans were treated so unfairly, The German Americans (Hitler) and the Italian Americans (Mussolini) were spared. I am so saddened how much people were / are judged by how the ‘look’ and by their heritage. Thank you for this poem, Brenda.

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    • I must add that I adopted two Korean daughters. They experienced extreme prejudice by ANOTHER racial minority (black), so much so that I had to telephone the principal of their high school because they were SO harassed. My parents also adopted my sister – half Korean…and she was constantly bombared with comments about her being a “Jap,” etc. When people asked her, as they did, what she was she would tell them she was “German” to get them off her back. I truly despise judgments based on ethncity. It seems so many need someone to be able to target; and this very much disturbs me.

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      • Both of my step children have a Korean mother. My husband is caucasian/ Cherokee. Both Arthur and Julie have expressed discomfort for being Asian. Julie was bullied in high school. Arthur is a sophomore, and has some degree of popularity due to his prowess as a runner, a saxophone player, and all around good nature so it isn’t so difficult for him. I’m sorry your daughters were treateds poorly. Len, my husband, tells of a time when an older gentleman asked him right in front of his then wife, “What is she, a littl Jap?” Insensitive.

        On the plus side, I do believe tolerance has gained some ground in the past several decades.

        Thank you Mary, for sharing a piece of your story here, and for your kind comments. I do appreciate it.

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  2. you capture the image well, Brenda – the hopelessness and the injustice of being labeled the enemy in one’s own country, just because of one’s name, place of origin or color of one’s skin.

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    • Thank you, Pamela. I loved that book, and have read several others about the same historical event. My favorite read set in that time period is called “Flight of the Fisherbird” by Nora Martin. It is a young adult read. Nora Martin is a friend, and an amazing author. I’m pleased you are doing NaPoWriMo, too. I hope I can live up to the commitment.

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  3. I can’t click like, despite the obvious worth of the poem. We always hear about the evil deeds of “the enemy” and it really hurts to discover that “our side” is just as guilty.

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