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 won't even mention the howl of orphans
that reaches up to the throne of God and
beyond, making
a circle with no end and no God.


                                                                     Hebrew; trans. Chana Bloch


Yehuda Amichai, Hebrew, trans. Chana Bloch, The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, Newly Revised and Expanded Edition, University of California Press, 1996.