Magazine article WLA ; War, Literature and the Arts

Poets for Peace

Magazine article WLA ; War, Literature and the Arts

Poets for Peace

Article excerpt

Come, my friends. 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The poets have always said it best. They've understood

the deepest meanings in the oldest words; they created

the vernacular for peace, saw how light shined through

every letter of every word that ever contained a message

for peace. Let's think of the word compassion, and how only

the poets understood it could be found in a black shoe

worn by a frail woman who crosses the street in the rain.

A woman who needs peace as much as anyone else in the world.

Let's think of the word liberty and ask what we need freedom

from or freedom for. Let's be free to march for peace or fight

for peace; let's be free from the ignorance of war and hatred.

Only the poet can see that liberty begins in silence, as a meditation,

really, a long prayer that is not so much for peace but is peace itself.

Oh, if only the poets could rule the world! But they will not.

They are hidden like flowers. They grow like weeds.

They walk the streets of New York City like everyone else,

smiling. And so now let's consider the word beauty, long a favorite

of all the poets who have ever lived. …

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