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Can I have a brief summary of the poem "The Diameter of the Bomb" written by Yehuda...

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db03061993 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:47 PM via web

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Can I have a brief summary of the poem "The Diameter of the Bomb" written by Yehuda Amichai?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 21, 2011 at 11:23 PM (Answer #1)

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Amichai begins the poem with a somewhat cold, but just mechanical description of the bomb. It is the scientist explaining something as a machine, the effect of its radius and the statistics of the people killed. The poem begins as if a government or bomb maker is assessing the effectiveness of the device. So, this is a clinical beginning; devoid of human compassion. The suffering is secondary to the analysis of the bomb.

Then the poem segues from statistical analysis to human compassion. A man grieves for a woman “in a far corner of a distant country.” The effect on humanity reaches a much larger radius than the explosion of the bomb itself. The bomb’s radius was seven meters. But it affected a man in another country. This violence “includes the whole world in the circle” and reaches the “throne of God.”

This is an effective juxtaposition of a dispassionate view of the physical capacity of the bomb with the much larger emotional and spiritual impact of such violence. The bomb may only have a diameter of seven meters but its mental impact reaches the entire world and God. The human/spiritual diameter spans a "circle without end."

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