Tuesday, May 22, 2007

All the News that Fits, Alas

The Diameter of the Bomb
The diameter of the bomb was thirty centimetres
and the diameter of its effective
range—about seven metres.
And in it four dead and eleven wounded.
And around them in a greater circle
of pain and time are scattered
two hospitals and one cemetery.
But the young woman who was
buried where she came from
over a hundred kilometres away
enlarges the circle greatly.
And the lone man who weeps over her death
in a far corner of a distant country
includes the whole world in the circle.
And I won't speak at all about the crying of orphans
that reaches to the seat of God
and from there onward, making
the circle without end and without God.

--Yehuda Amichai (trans. Stephen Mitchell)

(A young Ethiopian Jewish immigrant sheds a tear as he takes refuge in a bomb shelter from Qassam rockets fired by Palestinians into nearby Gaza Strip on May 16, 2007 in Sderot, Israel. By David Silverman/Getty Images.)

(A Palestinian boy holds the side of his face as he lies wounded in Al-Shifa hospital following an Israeli strike against the house of a Hamas leader in Gaza city, 20 May 2007. Four people were killed and five people wounded in a the Israeli air raid against Gaza targeting the home of Hamas leader Khalil al-Haya, who was at the time of the attack away from his home. By Mahmud Hams/AFP.)

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