Recently Kate Anders asked me for a copy of an old poem of mine that I'd written for a Russian teacher who was present at The Conference of the Living Tree. Her husband had been a Soviet military officer. Somehow the subject of epaulets came up, as well as a quotation by the teacher, as well as the gift of a Red Army epaulet to me. Somehow--delayed reaction--all this reminded me of a W. S. Merwin poem that appeared in The Writers' Almanac some months ago...Anyway, I've pasted my poem and Merwin's below, in case that provides you with a head-jog or two of your own.
Blessed Are the Peacemakers
May all epaulets become bookmarks.
May all warriors learn to read
the Art of Peace, and memorize
and recite the poetry of hope inside
May all children dream of friends
they have not met, but will,
because the warriors have taught them well.
May we all become children,
and teach each other
how to reach each other's dreams
and share our hopes,
and read our poetry
and live each together as Artists of Peace
18 January 2004
for Yelena in peace, hope, and friendship
When the War is Over
When the war is over
We will be proud of course the air will be
Good for breathing at last
The water will have been improved the salmon
And the silence of heaven will migrate more perfectly
The dead will think the living are worth it we will know
Who we are
And we will all enlist again
W. S. Merwin
The Lice © Copper Canyon Press, 1993.
- Teaching resources
- Teacher development
- Teacher training