Bomb

Michael Andre: From an Interview of Gregory Corso

Corso: "Bomb" was written when I came back from England, when I saw the kids Ban the Bomb, Ban the Bomb, and I said, "It's a death shot that's laid on them, the immediacy of people being hanged in England at that time, and it's not as if the Bomb had never fallen, so how am I going to tackle this thing, suddenly death was the big shot to handle, Gregory, not just the Bomb."

The best way to get out of it was make it lyrical, like an embracing of it, put all the energy of all the lyric that I could name. And then get to know it. But if I start with hating it, with the hate of it, I get no farther than a piece of polemic, a political poem--which I usually fall flat on. That's not a political poem exactly, that "Bomb" poem. And you can only do it by embracing it, yes. So gee, I loved the bomb....

Andre: . . . You use archaism well in your poetry.

Corso: Yes, I would use a word like "thee" but I'd make sure I use "you" in it too, you know.... I use it in "Bomb" but only because it has something apocalyptic and biblical, like "ye BANG ye BONG ye BING." There's a lot of interplay in that poem. When it's read, it's a sound poem. (132, 150-51)

Robert King: From an interview of Gregory Corso

GC: I can take the "Bomb," or I can take blue balloons. But it's not political at all. It's a death shot. You see, because people were worrying about dying by the Bomb in the Fifties. So I said, what about falling off the roof, what about heart attack. And I used the double old-age: old age I picked as being the heaviest--"old age, old age." One line that I've written in that poem that's not in the poem, and it should be in there is "Christ with the whip," like "St. George with a lance." I read it yesterday. I don't augment or take away, but it could be a smart idea if I did add that Christ with the whip number. (12)

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