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The Diameter of the Bomb" written by Yehuda Amichai

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 bombs 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."

The Tame Bird was in a Cage" by Tagore


In this poem by Rabindranath Tagore, there are two birds, one in a cage and one free. The caged bird is trying to get the free bird to join him in the cage, while the free bird wants the caged bird to come to the forest and be free. The birds go back and forth with positive elements in trying to convince each other to come to their side. The free bird says, "My darling, sing the songs of the woodlands" to which the caged bird answers, "Sit by my side, I'll teach you the speech of the learned." They also entreat negative elements in trying to convince each other that they are on the better side. Here, the free bird questions the caged bird and his "home": "Among bars, where is there room to spread one's wings?" The caged bird says in return: "I should not know where to sit perched in the sky." The end of the poem illustrates that the free bird has the better situation. You could argue that the caged bird is just looking for company in trying to get the free bird to join him. The final line of the poem illustrates this very powerfully. He whispers to his friend "Alas, my wings are powerless and dead."

The Toys, by Coventry Patmore


There is no deep meaning in this poem, which is to say that the reader does not need to read too deeply to feel the poems effects. It is overwhelmingly pathetic and moving in its depiction of the sad, brooding little boy with darkend eyelidstheir lashes yet / From his late sobbing wet. The boy has been crying because his father has recently spanked him for being disobedient. Moreover, the mother is dead, so there was no one in the house to console the child after his fathers severe admonishment. Thus, the father finds his son asleep with eyes and face still stained from recent tears. The sharpest pathos in the poem arises when the father looks at a table near the boys bed, upon which are set a variety of commonplace objects that the boy has ranged there with careful art. The emotion emanates not from the toys themselves, but from the fact that the boy has sweetly bestowed importance upon objects that adults otherwise ignore. Indeed, so great is the fathers pain at the recognition of his young sons sweet childishness that he immediately after prays to God, not as much to ask for anything as to observe that God, the ultimate father, will one day look upon His children and overlook their childishnessi.e., the fathers swift and severe response to his sons disobedience. God, the father believes, will do for the human race what he could not for his son. Thus, the most remarkable aspect of this poem is not any profound, metaphysical notion, but rather the simple and yet sublime emotions attached with this paternal sentiment. Though this sentimentality was gobbled up by the hyper-sentimental Victorians of Patmores time, the pathos is sharp enough and universal enough that the poem transcends being a mere period piece and edges towards the realm of eternally relevant humanistic literature.

This poem is autobiographical - based on a moment of anger towards his son followed by regret, grief and a prayer to God.

Symbolism is in the eyes of the beholder. The father in this setting does not represent God any more than the son represents Jesus. What makes this poem live is the sadness in the human condition, that repeats itself ad infinitive. Who has not felt the unexpected wrath of someone they worship? Who has not hurt those whose very existence is intimately connected to his own? Who has not suffered the remorse of having acted hastily, foolishly and even viciouslycharacteristics so remote from what God is. This is not about life eternal, but about life temporal. The poem Toys is very symbolic in its setting. Even though the poet speaks of his little son, from a broader perspective, the poem underlies the 'comfort' man resorts to, when God admonishes him... When man is buffeted for his faults, or when he encounters certain undesirable happenings in his life, he immediately resorts to other resorts to comfort and solace him, thus moving away from his creator. But still, God, much akin to Francis Thompson's 'Hound of Heaven, ' in all His grace forgives man for his shortcomings and kisses him (blesses him with His heavenly comfort) . The creator's concern for His creation and the creation's antipathy to the love of God are manifested in this poem. The slumber of the child represents the forgetfulness and the sheer childish callousness of children towards elders (here God) . The lines

ranged there with careful art, To comfort his sad heart" are of particular significance because, man in his love of the world, forgets whatever blessings he has derived from the Almighty and turns to the world in times of distress. The poem has a great import on the love of God and the antipathy of man

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