A poem in which a poet expresses a clear point of view is “No More Hiroshims” by James Kirkup. It is narrated from the point of view of the poet, as a tourist visiting the first city to be hit by an atomic bomb and as title suggests, it serves as a warning against nuclear weapons ever being used again. The reader can infer from the tone of disappointment throughout the poem that he was travelling to Hiroshima for a purpose – to see what the city is like after it had been completely destroyed.
The reader is introduced to the poet arriving at a train station platform. An image forms in the reader’s mind of the poet stepping off train bemused and confused by the busy station: “I had forgotten where I was”.
Hiroshima appearing so normal and mundane is summed up when he concludes:
“I see it might be anywhere
A station, a town like anyother in Japan.”
In the same stanza, Kirkup uses the weather to build up the tone of disappointment. He comments “… the winter afternoon’s wet snow falls thinly round me out of a crudded sun.”
This paradox of snow falling from the sun suggests the weather is not as it should be; the snow is not crisp and the sun is not shining as one would expect. Similarly life does not seem like it should. He notes in stanza three that “a kind of life goes on”. This image of lifelessness is used throughout the poem such as when he comments that his hotel room is like being in ”in an overheated morgue” or visiting the Peace Park I “this dying afternoon”. Kirkup suggests that the death that brought the bomb carries on with something less that life amongst the people that re-inhabited the city. Kirkup also introduces the city centre with the line, “far from the station’s lively squalor”. The oxymoronic use of “lively squalor” highlights that even when life is present in the poem, it is diminished by the negative connotations of “squalor”. To build this image of the “lively squalor”, Kirkup lists adjectives to get across the...