Amichai’s piece “The Diameter of the Bomb” and “God has pity on Kindergarten Children” talk about hardship and sorrow. In the “Diameter of the Bomb”, a small bomb with a small radius doesn’t only affect the radius in which it detonated in, it affects everyone in the world. The radius of the bomb is really the entire world, affecting the person across the world who is mourning for someone who was killed by the initial detonation. In his work “God has pity on Kindergarten Children”, he explains how children do not experience hardship and there is somewhat of a supernatural influence on them which protects. However, with adults, there is none of it and all the hardship falls on the adults due to the burden of responsibility. No matter what goes wrong or any tragedy which ensues in an individual’s life, only happiness may protect them. The poet emphasizes tragedy in his work which can be seen as tragedies that occur to all of us and affects everyone, but it is the approach that seems to matter.
Yehuda Amichai’s “Endless Poem” is a very layered work of literature. I think that the theme of the poem is self-awareness. The speaker repeats and kind of goes over what is around him as well as what is within him. He says that within him is his heart, and within his heart is a museum. At the end he says again that within his heart is the museum and he just connects everything together. Repeating and reviewing himself and his surroundings helps to strengthen his self-awareness.
In his poem, “God Has Pity on Kindergarten Children,”Yehuda Amichai is vividly illustrates god’s treatment towards, kindergartners, school children, and adults. The scale goes from innocent to corrupt, god does not pity adults for the immorality they bring into the world and how they feed the innocent biased knowledge of their own beliefs. They teach them who to hate, the kindergartners being forced to believe it without reason. The Volta occurs after his dark illustration in the second stanza, giving an alternative scenario to living a life of love could make god have pity on you. His connection to the Israeli-Palestine Conflict is clear through this poem; he believes people are feeding the future generations lies about their “enemies,” creating conflict that will exist for no known reason. His belief is that love is the only way to overcome this problem; once you love each other and are able to put differences past each other, god will have pity and you will be spared from experiencing the undesirable life that he depicts.
As Amichai’s “Diameter of the Bomb” poem progresses, distances become larger. It starts with centimeters, then goes to meters, kilometers and all the way to God. After the circle reaches God, Amichai says the “circle [has] no end and no God.” By increasing the diameter of the circle, everything inside becomes bound or trapped. In addition, the poet questions the existence of God by saying there is none. Does the poet consider God to be within or outside of the circle? If God is within the circle, the poet may be telling the audience there are limits to what God can do. The orphans and bombings of this world may be the speaker’s proof of that. If God is outside the circle, Amichai could be telling the audience that the existence of bombings and orphans are proof God does not exist. If he did, those would not. Does Amichai consider everything outside the circle infinite? What could this mean for the circle?
The love poems “Bleecker Street, Summer” and “The Fist” by Derek Walcott are in some ways similar and different to the other love poems I’ve read. In “The Fist”, the narrator describes love portrays love as something painful comparing it to a fist clenching a heart. Walcott uses literary devices such as metaphors and personifications to emphasize the emotions of painful love that the narrator is experiencing. I think “Bleecker Street, Summer is a different love poem to “The Fist”. The narrator is longing for the beautiful summers and he also wished that his love was also there. Walcott’s poems are similar to the ones we read in class because they are mostly surrounding the theme of longing for love or heartbreak. However, his poem are different because of the many literary devices that he uses to describe this type of love.
Amichai bears witness to the Israeli and Palestine conflicts through different lenses. In the poem “An Arab Shepherd Is Searching For His Goat On Mount Zion” we see an Arab man and a Jewish searching for things that are dear to them. This poem displayed a common ground even in times of high tension. The poem “Try to Remember Some Details” takes a darker turn because it discusses the violent end of the Israeli-Palestine conflict. This point of view is of someone who has lost someone due to this violence because it advises the reader to remember details about their loved ones because anything could happen.
Yehuda Amichai’s poem, “An Arab Shepherd is Searching for His Goat on Mount Zion,” touches on some delicate but powerful points. The two characters in the story are described as being on opposite hills; Both are searching for something important to them. The Arab man is searching for his goat, and the Jewish father is searching for his son. They are both in their “Temporary failure,” a description that begins a subtle threading of connections between what seem at first to be two people divided on opposite hills. Even though the two seem to be far apart on one level, they end up having more in common than you’d think. Their voices are “met above” and they finally find what they have been looking for. The child and the goat are found in the same bush. The poem also nods at the idea that children should not be caught up in the issues of their parents, in “the wheels of the ‘Had Gadya’ machine.” In the end, the poem draws a picture of two people who turn out to be very much alike.
Walcott comments on the the struggle of faith and how one can be consumed by their beliefs; sometimes by choice, and other times out of necessity. The “Endless Poem” is quite literal as it relates to the cyclical pattern of the lines, but it also has metaphorical undertones. The infiniteness of the poem is also met to express the infiniteness of his devotion to his faith. This is reinforced by the symbolism of the museum. Museums are normally used exhibit and document old or impactful events/ works of art throughout history. Featured in this museum was an old synagogue which houses the religion of Judaism. And even though the synagogue is “old”, the narrator still maintains his position in it. It is apart of him and he is apart of it. Once again, this reenforcing this idea of dependency on faith. Overall, it shows the difficulty of life consumption of faith to motivate and drive people to make it through the struggles.
In Yehuda Amichai’s The Diameter of the Bomb, the author uses imagery to bear witness to tragedy or more difficult aspects of human life. When the author says that “[t]he diameter of the bomb was thirty centimeters
and the diameter of its effective range about seven meters,
with four dead and eleven wounded[,]” it shows how lethal the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is (Yehuda Amichai). The author’s description allows the reader to envision the unfortunate situation in their mind. We read about four innocent Israeli deaths. Amichai’s poem is extremely impactful because situations similar to the one in the poem occur on a regular basis.
Walcott’s love poems, “Bleecker Street, Summer” and “The Fist” are very different compared to the typical love poems that we have read in the past. These poems highlight the darker and negative aspects of love that demonstrate the pain that love can make you feel. Specifically, in “The Fist” he uses a fist to represent the hold that love has on people and how oftentimes, it can be terrorizing. He describes the feeling like there is a fist around the heart that makes it hard to breathe. Additionally, Walcott’s poems represent love poems that are not necessarily dedicated to a person but to other things. For instance, Walcott’s “Bleecker Street, Summer,” describes Walcott’s love for Manhattan during the summertime. Walcott’s poem once again includes the negative aspects of love with his bittersweet relationship. His appreciation for manhattan is undermined by the uncolorful aspects of Manhattan with “the smell of water down littered streets that lead you to no water.” This clearly demonstrates how Manhattan is not as fruitful as it may seem. While talking about the negatives of Manhattan, Walcott looks back to an island that he misses, that Manhattan cannot compare to.