Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering September 11th, 2001/Yehuda Amichai's "The Diameter of the Bomb"




Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai's "The Diameter of the Bomb" speaks for itself. I'm posting it today because I've decided to read it for our September 11th remembrance at John Carroll University. In a sense, it captures that reverberating effect of violence, a violence that leaves almost no one spared; I hope that it will be heard not only as a lament for the terrorist acts, but for all the Terror Wars have come to signify--and the ways in which the dead of 9/11 have been summoned and manipulated for such foreign adventures as the Iraq War, the contorted logic of which goes something like: Country A attacked me, therefore I should attack Country B before Country B attacks me.


"The Diameter of the Bomb" by Yehuda Amichai, translated by Chana Bloch

The diameter of the bomb was thirty centimeters
and the diameter of its effective range about seven meters,
with four dead and eleven wounded.
And around these, in a larger circle
of pain and time, two hospitals are scattered
and one graveyard. But the young woman
who was buried in the city she came from,
at a distance of more than a hundred kilometers,
enlarges the circle considerably,
and the solitary man mourning her death
at the distant shores of a country far across the sea
includes the entire world in the circle.
And I won’t even mention the crying of orphans
that reaches up to the throne of God and
beyond, making
a circle with no end and no God.

1 comment:

Austin said...

I like what this poem says...it has a depth to it that has been lost as of late, and with the way the world is heading...