Hiroshima is a city in Japan that was destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II. Welcome to Hiroshima is a poem that commemorates the lives lost in the bombing and encourages people to remember the tragedy so that it may never be repeated.
The poem begins with the speaker describing the city of Hiroshima before the bombing. She describes it as a beautiful place full of life. The speaker then goes on to describe the moment when the bomb was dropped and the devastation that followed. The poem ends with a call for peace and remembrance.
Welcome to Hiroshima is an important poem because it highlights the human cost of war. It is also a reminder that we must never forget the tragedy of Hiroshima so that it may never be repeated.
On the presentation of Mary Jo Salter’s “Welcome to Hiroshima” material, a visual holiday to a different nation appears. The imagery, on the other hand, depicts a distinct kind of poem. The poem’s subject is a pessimistic consideration of how people destroy one another.
The first stanza talks about how the narrator sees the city from a distance. The second stanza is about how the city looks up close. The third stanza is about how people in the city interact with each other. The fourth stanza is about how the city smells. And finally, the fifth stanza is about how the city sounds. All of these details work together to create a picture of a city that has been through a lot of pain and suffering.
The first stanza starts off with a description of the city from a distance. The narrator describes it as “a postcard view.” This gives us a sense that the city is beautiful, even from afar. However, there are also hints of something more sinister lurking beneath the surface. The next line, “of neat squares and streets in rows,” gives us a sense of orderliness, but there is an underlying feeling of tension. This is reinforced by the line, “all waiting for something to happen.” There is a sense that the city is holding its breath, waiting for something to happen.
The second stanza brings us closer to the city. The narrator describes it as “a city of ghosts.” This immediately gives us a sense of foreboding. The city is no longer just beautiful; it is now also haunted. The next line, “Each building / with a story to tell,” furthers this feeling. We get the sense that the city has seen some terrible things happen within its walls.
The third stanza is about the people in the city. The narrator describes them as “walking wounded.” This line immediately brings to mind the idea of survivors. These are people who have been through something terrible and have come out the other side. However, they are not unscathed. The next line, “They move through the streets / like ghosts,” furthers this idea. The people in this city are not really living; they are just going through the motions.
The fourth stanza is about the smell of the city. The narrator describes it as “the smell of death.” This is a very powerful image that brings to mind all of the terrible things that have happened in this city. It is a reminder of the horrific events that have taken place here.
The fifth stanza is about the sound of the city. The narrator describes it as “the sound of silence.” This is a very eerie image. It gives us the sense that the city is holding its breath, waiting for something to happen. There is a sense of suspense and tension in this line.
The story, like a fine wine, develops over time. The narrator’s persona is an elderly Professor Auguste Renoir writing a narrative in the present tense about his experiences as a slave laborer during World War I for the purpose of raising money for charity.
This makes the persona seem distanced from the event. This could be a coping mechanism for the persona or it could be an intentional choice to make the poem sound less graphic. The use of sound devices such as alliteration “shattered shimmered” (2) creates a musicality which is often used in poems to contrast with the dark subject matter.
This could be used to make the poem more digestible for a reader who might not be ready to face the atrocities of war. It could also add to the feeling of numbness and disconnect that the persona seems to be experiencing. Welcome to Hiroshima Mary Jo Salter is a poem that allows readers to confront the tragedy of war while still keeping some distance.
In the following lines, the persona describe the “memorial museum” with a tone of shock, using well-thought-out language. Images of burning and melting become visible to the mind. The persona chooses to use personification throughout the next two stanzas, describing things like “blistered grass” and “strings of flesh.”
The persona then goes on to state that the only things left standing were “shadows of people” (27). This poem was clearly written by someone who was not there when the bomb hit, which is why much of the language is vague. The persona could be speaking to anyone who wasn’t there, or they could be speaking to those who were.
Welcome to Hiroshima Mary Jo Salter is a poem about understanding. The persona uses personification, sensory images, and concrete details to help readers understand the devastation of the atomic bomb. By doing so, Salter allows readers to have a glimpse into the lives of those affected by the bomb.
Metaphors are used in the poem to express the image of melting flesh. In addition to flesh melting, the picture of gloves turning into coat sleeves (23,24) represents skin fluttering off bones and muscles. These lines depict a reality more gruesome than any imagination can handle. The persona begins to instill feelings of guilt in people with “they should have left it all” (31).
This line is significant because the persona is no longer talking about the event, but instead is taking on the blame. The final stanza communicates a different tone then the rest of the poem. The persona begins to feel hopeful when they see “newspapers blowing in the wind.”(39) This image could be interpreted in multiple ways, but most likely it symbolizes change and growth.
Even though the persona appears to have found hope at the end, Salter still manages to touch on the idea that everything is not as it seems. “And all around us people kept on smiling”(41) gives the reader pause because it makes them question if what they are seeing is really happening or if it’s just a facade.