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Although it can be read as a polemic against nuclear war, "Bomb" is also an examination of the loss of humanistic virtue. Additionally, it is a vehicle for expressing Corso's developing epistemology. To know the world, for the younger poet, is to recognize it as a Heraclitean continuum, an alteration of consciousness that prefigures the way man understands himself and the world about him. Like the bomb, powerful forces--whether they are generated by great religious prophets or authentic poetic statement--provide the elemental energy that transforms human consciousness. So Corso's poem is a paradoxical rendering of two points of view: on the one hand it is about the destructive power of a weapon that can annihilate mankind, while at the other extreme it concerns the positive force of man's own potential to see the world from a new perspective. (144-45)