Guest poem sent in by Huat Chye Lim The Yehuda Amichai poem from a couple of weeks ago [Poem #1437] reminded me of another poem of his that I really like and isn't in your anthology:
(Poem #1448) The Diameter of the Bomb
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 wont 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.
(translated by Chana Bloch) Amichai starts with a recitation of cold, technical facts about the bomb--its diameter, its range, the number of casualties. But then, unexpectedly and rather jarringly, he segues into a personal sketch of one of the victims and her grieving lover, "the solitary man mourning her death / at the distant shores of a country far across the sea"--two lines I find especially poignant. Amichai's conversational, somewhat detached tone ("And I won't even mention...") throughout the poem serves almost as a foil to the raw emotional loss that the bomb wreaked, and emphasizes it all the more. Cheers, Huat Chye Lim