Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PLATO'S CAVE, by KAREN SWENSON

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PLATO'S CAVE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Blood is red. They say napalm
Last Line: In the fire a day before my eyes.
Subject(s): Television; Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975; War; Tv

Blood is red. They say napalm
snarls yellow and crimson
through the buckram palm leaves,
but the fire is at my back.

I am watching shadows funneled into a tube,
war neat in a box, canned as concentrated juice.
The soldiers march newsprint faces through
landscape indecisive between black and white.
Dots swarm the graph lines of the screen,
pepper and salt clotting to grenades and rice
in a monochrome entertainment of death.

Could this ashed drama be wrenched out
to the dimension of my hand?
Listen. Someone is crying
in the fire a day before my eyes.

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