Wislawa Szymborska, “The Terrorist He Watches”

Length: 3 Pages 840 Words

This poem speaks to me through the eyes of a terrorist and the person watching the terrorist. It tells how the terrorist has set the time of death for his victims. It tells how he waits and watches people move in and out of the “bar” (line one) never knowing what waits for them at “one twenty p.m.” (line one). The poem illustrates to the reader how the count down takes place in the terrorist’s mind. In the second stanza, it gives the reader the impression that the terrorist is being watched, after he drops the bomb off at the bar. Also the terrorist speaks of how some lives will be saved from the explosion. He also informs the reader that you will have to wait to see what the out coming of some of the victims will be. Finally, in this poem you see that the terrorist gets the satisfaction of the bomb going off and how death awaits the victims of the terrorist without them even knowing it. In all the stanzas excluding the first, second, and seven: the terrorist watches the movement of his victims in and near the bar. He takes note of what the victims are wearing when they enter the bar and if they leave behind anything in order to reenter the bar before the explosion takes place. “A woman in a yellow jacket, s Continue...


In the second stanza, I get the impression that someone may be watching the terrorist once he has dropped the bomb off at the bar. The terrorist has waited and watched so long for the bomb to go off that he feels that time must have stopped at some point, because it is taking to long. The first person saved was "A man in dark glasses, (line nine) this gentleman leaves the bar before the explosion takes place. I enjoyed this poem because it gave insight to me on the mind frame of the terrorist in Oklahoma City and 911. This gives the terrorist gravitation, enjoyment, and relief that he has accomplished his goal of bombing the bar. The moment that the terrorist has been awaiting arrives. However, the terrorist also tells of a girl who was cut off by a bus he is unsure of if she goes into the bar or she escapes the explosion. The terrorist keeps track of people exiting and entering the bar until his vision was blocked by a bus for that one second. (line eight), without a doubt we know that this woman dies in the explosion because the terrorist never mentions this woman leaving the bar. Again, this is a victim that we know is involved in the explosion that is set to take place at "one twenty p.