The diameter of 9/11

In remembrance of 9/11, here’s one of the poem we learned from our literature classes.

The Diameter of a Bomb     by Yehuda Amichai

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.

I remember that we also used this poem in our Translation class, where we were asked to do an Intersemiotic Translation. We decided to work on this poem translate it to our language then make a video incorporating the intensity of war and our depiction of the poem. We watched some war or soldier movies then like Saving Private Ryan,  Pearl Harbor, etc. and were also inspired that time by Greenday’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Wake Me Up When September Ends, Holiday and Faith Hill’s There You’ll Be. Always, there would be innocent victims of the war, children caught int he middle of the crossfire, individuals mistaken to be enemies, soldiers who had to leave their home to fight the war, properties destroyed, countless lives claimed, and the casualties just pile up. Let’s not trap ourselves in this kind of circle.

We wanted to show the gravity of war, how the circle enlarges with just one drop of a bomb (can be metaphorically), and the number of people affected increases. It’s so sad why war should happen when there are a lot of natural destruction like the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China, the 921 Earthquake in Taiwan (yer 2009), 2010 Haiti earthquake, 3/11 Tsunami and earthquake in Japan. etc.

What happened in 9/11 affected the entire world. I hope people could find peace and healing in one’s heart.


3 thoughts on “The diameter of 9/11

  1. How one action, good or bad, can impact the world. Just goes to show that all of us matter. *sigh*

    “Intersemiotic Translation” c’est quoi?

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