Ann Charters: On "Bomb"
City Lights published his long poem Bomb as a multiple-paged broadside, with the text shaped as a mushroom cloud. Bomb was the poet's powerful address to the atomic bomb, cataloging the evolution of mankind's destructive tendencies, culminating in the bomb as "Death’s extravagance."
Budger of history Brake of time You Bomb
Toy of universe Grandest of all snatched-sky I cannot hate you
Do I hate the mischievous thunderbolt the jawbone of an ass
The bumpy club of One Million B.C. the mace the flail the axe
Catapult Da Vinci tomahawk Conchise flintlock Kidd dagger
Reining in his apocalyptic vision in "Bomb," Corso found a brief respite in humor:
There is a hell for bombs
They’re there I see them there
They sit in bits and sing songs
mostly German songs
and two very long American songs
He continues the joke:
... they wish there were more songs
especially Russian and Chinese songs
and some more very long American songs
Poor little Bomb that’ll never be
an Eskimo song
The menace of the bomb was never far distant, and Corso faced the horror squarely in his poem:
You are a paean an acme of scream
a lyric hat of Mister Thunder
O resound thy tanky knees
BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM
BOOM ye skies and BOOM ye suns
nights ye BOOM ye days ye BOOM
BOOM BOOM ye winds ye clouds ye rains
go BANG ye lakes ye oceans BING ...
Yes Yes into our midst a bomb will fall.
From The Columbia History of American Poetry. Ed. Jay Parini. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993. Copyright © 1993 by Columbia University Press.
|Title||Ann Charters: On "Bomb"||Type of Content||Criticism|
|Criticism Author||Ann Charters||Criticism Target||Gregory Corso|
|Criticism Type||Poet||Originally Posted||05 Jul 2015|
|Publication Status||Excerpted Criticism||Publication||The Columbia History of American Poetry|
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