Mary Jo Salter – Welcome to Hiroshima

In this episode, Kev and the Lukes discuss Mary Jo Salter’s devastating and beautifully crafted poem, “Welcome to Hiroshima.” 

We admire the poem on several levels–its masterful level of craft, not only in terms of meter and rhyme but also syntax; its exquisitely rendered imagery; how it explores the ways in which the horrors of war are remembered by ensuing generations.

“It’s almost like history is a product,” Stromberg observes of Salter’s simile of the mushroom cloud “that brims its risen columnful like beer/and, spilling over, hangs its foamy head.” If history is like a product for sale, then how is it being marketed, and who is selling it to whom? These are just some of the questions that the poem provokes. Give it a good read, listen to the conversation, and feel free to reach out with your own thoughts and reactions.

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