Deakin University

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The Heroic Age

posted on 2021-10-01, 00:00 authored by Cassandra AthertonCassandra Atherton
The Heroic Age



Five Ages


79 - 105


Recent Work Press

Place of publication

Canberra, A.C.T.



Research statement

In January 2021, the Science and Security Board moved the Doomsday Clock forward to 100 seconds to midnight, stating:the pandemic serves as a historic wake-up call, a vivid illustration that national governments and international organizations are unprepared to manage nuclear weapons and climate change, which currently pose existential threats to humanity, or the other dangers— including more virulent pandemics and next-generation warfare—that could threaten civilization in the near future.’ (Mecklin 2021: n.p.)Annihilation of the human race is, once again, on many people’s minds. This sequence of poems is a response to the need to understand why the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and its lasting effect on the city and its people. When the mayor of Hiroshima, Kazumi Matsui, called for an end to nuclear weapons, the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, agreed, but he simultaneously sought to renounce the pacifist Article 9 of the Constitution and re-arm Japan. More recently, President Obama hesitated before committing to visiting Hiroshima for fear of offending an American public that overwhelmingly believes that dropping the bomb was justified. All of this, however, simply highlights the ongoing relevance of Hiroshima and the need to continue to seek deeper understandings of the bomb’s significance and creative answers to related questions concerning humanity and its possible extinction. In writing my prose poems I explored ways of ensuring that I didn’t appropriate the experience—I lay no claim to trying to understand what it must have been like to live through or witness the bombing. However, in using Hesiod's Heroic Age, I was able to find a way to discuss heroes and heroines of atomic warfare and modern day heroes in Hiroshima.

Publication classification

JO3 Original Creative Works – Textual Work


NTRO Minor


C Atherton, O Hardwick, P Hetherington, P Munden, J Webb

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