“Hiroshima Exit” is a lyric poem by Joy Kogawa, who was born in Canada in 1935. She was relocated to central British Columbia during World War II and spent her time working in the fields. She wrote other poems about Japanese refugees during World War II. The poem’s subject is that people are so concerned about whose fault the bombing of Hiroshima is that they neglected the fact that more than 300,000 people died from the horrible attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The poetic elements that contribute to this theme are it’s repetition, it’s imagery, and it’s language.
The most important element that contributes to the poem’s theme is the repetition of words. In the first few lines of the poem (lines 1-3), repetition is used a lot. We see this because the lines say ‘In round round rooms of our wanderings’, ‘Victims and victimizers in circular flight’, and ‘Fact pursuing fact’. The repetition gives the poem a dizzy feeling. This effect on the reader emphasizes how the blame of Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s bombing goes around and around, thrown to the Japanese, then the Americans, and so on.
The second most important element that contributes to the poem’s theme is the imagery. In line 9-10 where it says ‘Remnants of clothing, radiation sickness, fleshless faces,’ the imagery is very powerful due to the grotesque pictures that appear in the audience’s minds. It also gives the illusion of the audience being present immediately after the bombing, when there is an absence of any living creature. Line 22, where it says ‘Air raid sirens wail bleakly’, also contributes to the imagery by adding the haunting sound of an air raid siren. The imagery adds to the theme because it helps make the audience wonder why so many people are pointlessly arguing whose fault the attack of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was, rather than the suffering it’s caused.
The third most important element that contributes...