PEACE NOT WAR
War is NEVER the Answernor is the
Cost worth it.
"Beware the leader who bangs the drum of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor. For patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind." Julius Caesar
Sgt. Kevin Benderman
Before I Start
"Death of Ball Turret Gunner" and others. Reactions.
Poems of War
Poetry of War Webquest.
Wilfred Owen, War Poet
The Iliad The Original War poem (epic).
The End and the Beginning
After every war
Someone has to push the rubble
Someone has to get mired
Someone has to drag in a girder
Photogenic it's not,
We'll need the bridges back,
Someone, broom in hand,
From out of the bushes
Those who knew
In the grass that has overgrown
from Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of Wislawa Szymborska, 2001
Copyright 2001 by Wislawa Szymborska.
It is not UNPATRIOTIC to be against WAR
Find links to Poems on Peace after this poem.
The School Among the Ruins Beirut.Baghdad.Sarajevo.Bethlehem.Kabul. Not of course here. 1. Teaching the first lesson and the last --great falling light of summer will you last longer than schooltime? When children flow in columns at the doors BOYS GIRLS and the busy teachers open or close high windows with hooked poles drawing darkgreen shades closets unlocked, locked questions unasked, asked, when love of the fresh impeccable sharp-pencilled yes order without cruelty a street on earth neither heaven nor hell busy with commerce and worship young teachers walking to school fresh bread and early-open foodstalls 2. When the offensive rocks the sky when nightglare misconstrues day and night when lived-in rooms from the upper city tumble cratering lower streets cornices of olden ornament human debris when fear vacuums out the streets When the whole town flinches blood on the undersole thickening to glass Whoever crosses hunched knees bent a contested zone knows why she does this suicidal thing School's now in session day and night children sleep in the classrooms teachers rolled close 3 How the good teacher loved his school the students the lunchroom with fresh sandwiches lemonade and milk the classroom glass cages of moss and turtles teaching responsibility A morning breaks without bread or fresh-poured milk parents or lesson-plans diarrhea first question of the day children shivering it's September Second question: where is my mother? 4. One: I don't know where your mother is Two: I don't know why they are trying to hurt us Three: or the latitude and longitude of their hatred Four: I don't know if we hate them as much I think there's more toilet paper in the supply closet I'm going to break it open Today this is your lesson: write as clearly as you can your name home street and number down on this page No you can't go home yet but you aren't lost this is our school I'm not sure what we'll eat we'll look for healthy roots and greens searching for water though the pipes are broken 5. There's a young cat sticking her head through window bars she's hungry like us but can feed on mice her bronze erupting fur speaks of a life already wild her golden eyes don't give quarter She'll teach us Let's call her Sister when we get milk we'll give her some 6. I've told you, let's try to sleep in this funny camp All night pitiless pilotless things go shrieking above us to somewhere Don't let your faces turn to stone Don't stop asking me why Let's pay attention to our cat she needs us Maybe tomorrow the bakers can fix their ovens 7. "We sang them to naps told stories made shadow-animals with our hands washed human debris off boots and coats sat learning by heart the names some were too young to write some had forgotten how" -- Adrienne Rich Copyright 2001
By Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef To America I too love jeans and jazz and Treasure Island and John Silver's parrot and the balconies of New Orleans. I love Mark Twain and the Mississippi steamboats and Abraham Lincoln's dogs. I love the fields of wheat and corn and the smell of Virginia tobacco. But I am not American. Is that enough for the Phantom pilot to turn me back to the stone age? .. . America: let's exchange gifts. Take your smuggled cigarettes and give us potatoes. Take James Bond's golden pistol and give us Marilyn Monroe's giggle. Take the heroin syringe under the tree and give us vaccines. Take your blueprints for model penitentiaries and give us village homes. Take the books of your missionaries and give us paper for poems to defame you. Take what you do not have and give us what we have. Take the stripes of your flag and give us the stars. Take the Afghani Mujahideen beard and give us Walt Whitman's beard filled with butterflies. Take Saddam Hussein and give us Abraham Lincoln or give us no one. .. . We are not hostages, America and your soldiers are not God's soldiers ... We are the poor ones, ours is the earth of the drowned gods, the gods of bulls the gods of fires the gods of sorrows that intertwine clay and blood in a song... We are the poor, ours is the god of the poor who emerges out of farmers' ribs hungry and bright, and raises heads up high... America, we are the dead. Let your soldiers come. Whoever kills a man, let him resurrect him. We are the drowned ones, dear lady. We are the drowned. Let the water come. Saadi Youssef
What does OIL have to do with it?
Bang The Drum Slowly (Emmylou Harris/Guy Clark) I meant to ask you how to fix that car I always meant to ask you about the war And what you saw across a bridge too far Did it leave a scar Or how you navigated wings of fire and steel Up where heaven had no more secrets to conceal And still you found the ground beneath your wheels How did it feel Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly To dust be returning from dust we begin Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy Above and below me world without end I meant to ask you how when everything seemed lost And your fate was in a game of dice they tossed There was still that line that you would never cross At any cost I meant to ask you how you lived what you believed With nothing but your heart up your sleeve And if you ever really were deceived By the likes of me Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly To dust be returning from dust we begin Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy Above and below me world without end Gone now is the day and gone the sun There is peace tonight all over Arlington But the songs of my life will still be sung By the light of the moon you hung I meant to ask you how to plow that field I meant to bring you water from the well And be the one beside you when you fell Could you tell Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly To dust be returning from dust we begin Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy Above and below me world without end
How I Learned to Sweep - Julia Alvarez My mother never taught me sweeping. One afternoon she found me watching t.v. She eyed the dusty floor boldly, and put a broom before me, and said she'd like to be able to eat her dinner off that table, and nodded at my feet, then left. I knew right off what she expected and went at it. I stepped and swept; the t.v. blared the news; I kept my mind on what I had to do, until in minutes, I was through. Her floor was as immaculate as a just-washed dinner plate. I waited for her to return and turned to watch the President, live from the White House, talk of war: in the Far East our soldiers were landing in their helicopters into jungles their propellers swept like weeds seen underwater while perplexing shots were fired from those beautiful green gardens into which these dragonflies filled with little men descended. I got up and swept again as they fell out of the sky. I swept all the harder when I watched a dozen of them die. as if their dust fell through the screen upon the floor I had just cleaned. She came back and turned the dial; the screen went dark. That's beautiful, she said, and ran her clean hand through my hair, and on, over the window- sill, coffee table, rocker, desk, and held it up-I held my breath- That's beautiful, she said, impressed, she hadn't found a speck of death.
John F. Kennedy
(1917-1963, Thirty-fifth President of the USA)