11 Memorable Poems About Peace: Inner and World Peace (2022)

Peace: It can mean peace between nations, peace between friends and in the family, or inner peace.Whichever meaning of peace you're looking for, whatever peace you're seeking, the poets have probably described it in words and images.

01

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John Lennon: "Imagine"

11 Memorable Poems About Peace: Inner and World Peace (1)

Some of the best poems are song lyrics. John Lennon's "Imagine" invokes a utopia without possessions or greed, without the fighting that he believed nations and religions, by their very existence, promoted.


Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

02

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Alfred Noyes: "On the Western Front"

11 Memorable Poems About Peace: Inner and World Peace (2)

Writing from his experience of the devastation of World War I, Edwardian poet Alfred Noyes' well-known "On the Western Front" speaks from the perspective of soldiers buried in graves marked by simple crosses, asking that their deaths not be in vain. Praise of the dead was not what the dead needed, but peace made by the living. An excerpt:


We, who lie here, have nothing more to pray.
To all your praises we are deaf and blind.
We may not ever know if you betray
Our hope, to make earth better for mankind.

03

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Maya Angelou: "The Rock Cries Out to Us Today"

11 Memorable Poems About Peace: Inner and World Peace (3)

Maya Angelou, in this poem invoking natural imagery to portray human life against a long span of time, has these lines explicitly denouncing war and calling forpeace, in the voice of the "rock" that has existed since early time:


Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.
Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.
Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more.
Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I
And the tree and stone were one.

04

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"

11 Memorable Poems About Peace: Inner and World Peace (4)

The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in the middle of the Civil War, wrote this poem which has more recently been adapted as a modern Christmas classic. Longfellow wrote this on Christmas Day in 1863, after his son had enlisted in the Union's cause and had returned home, seriously wounded. The verses which he included and are still generally included, speak of the despair of hearing the promise of "peace on earth, goodwill to men" when the evidence of the world is clearly that war still exists.


And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."

The original also included several verses referring specifically to the Civil War. Before that cry of despair and answering cry of hope, and after verses describing the long years of hearing of "peace on earth, goodwill to men" (a phrase from the Jesus birth narratives in the Christian scriptures), Longfellow's poem includes, describing the black cannons of the war:


Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

05

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: "The Peace-Pipe"

11 Memorable Poems About Peace: Inner and World Peace (5)

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This poem, part of the longer epic narrative poem "The Song of Hiawatha," tells an origin story of the peace-pipe of the indigenous Americans from (shortly) before the European settlers arrived. This is the first section from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's borrowing and reshaping of indigenous tales, creating a story of the love of Ojibwe Hiawatha and Delaware Minnehaha, situated on the shores of Lake Superior. Since the theme of the story is two peoples coming together, a sort of Romeo and Juliet plus King Arthur story set in pre-colonial America, the theme of the peace-pipe establishing peace among the native nations leads into the more specific story of individuals.

In this section of "The Song of Hiawatha," the Great Spirit calls together the nations with the smoke of a peace-pipe and then offers them the peace-pipe as a custom to create and maintain peace among the nations.


"O my children! my poor children!
Listen to the words of wisdom,
Listen to the words of warning,
From the lips of the Great Spirit,
From the Master of Life, who made you!
"I have given you lands to hunt in,
I have given you streams to fish in,
I have given you bear and bison,
I have given you roe and reindeer,
I have given you brant and beaver,
Filled the marshes full of wild-fowl,
Filled the rivers full of fishes:
Why then are you not contented?
Why then will you hunt each other?
"I am weary of your quarrels,
Weary of your wars and bloodshed,
Weary of your prayers for vengeance,
Of your wranglings and dissensions;
All your strength is in your union,
All your danger is in discord;
Therefore be at peace henceforward,
And as brothers live together.

The poem, part of the American Romantic movement of the mid 19th century, uses a European view of American Indian life to craft a story that attempts to be universal. It has been criticized as cultural appropriation, claiming to be true to Native American historyyet in reality, freely adapted and envisioned through a Euro-American lens. The poem shaped for generations of Americans an impression of "accurate" native American culture.

Wadsworth's other poem included here, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," also repeats the theme of a vision of a world where all nations are at peace and reconciled. "Song of Hiawatha" was written in 1855, eight years before the tragic Civil War events which inspired "I Heard the Bells."

06

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Buffy Sainte-Marie: "Universal Soldier"

11 Memorable Poems About Peace: Inner and World Peace (6)

Song lyrics were often the protest poetry of the 1960s anti-war movement. Bob Dylan's "With God on Our Side" was a biting denunciation of those who claimed God favored them in war, and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" (made famous by Pete Seeger) was a gentler commentary on the futility of war.

Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Universal Soldier" was among those hard-hitting anti-war songs that put responsibility for war on all who took part, including the soldiers who willingly went to war.

An excerpt:


And he's fighting for democracy,he's fighting for the reds,
He says it's for the peace of all.
He's the one who must decide who's to live and who's to die,
And he never sees the writing on the wall.
But without him how would Hitler have condemned them at Dachau?
Without him Caesar would have stood alone.
He's the one who gives his body as the weapon of the war,
And without him all this killing can't go on.

07

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Wendell Berry: "The Peace of Wild Things"

11 Memorable Poems About Peace: Inner and World Peace (7)

A more recent poet than most included here, Wendell Berry often writes of country life and nature, and has sometimes been identified as resonant with the 19th-century transcendentalist and romantic traditions.

In "The Peace of Wild Things" he contrasts the human and animal approach to worrying about the future, and how being with those who don't worry is a way of finding peace for those of us who do worry.

The beginning of the poem:


When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief.

08

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Emily Dickinson: "I Many Times Thought Peace Had Come"

11 Memorable Poems About Peace: Inner and World Peace (8)

Peace sometimes means peace within, when we are facing inner struggles. In her two-stanza poem, here represented with more of the original punctuation than some collections have,Emily Dickinson uses the image of the sea to represent the waves of peace and struggle.The poem itself has, in its structure, something of the ebb and flow of the sea.

Sometimes peace seems to be there, but like those in a wrecked ship might think they found land in the middle of the ocean, it can also be an illusion. Many illusive sightings of "peace" will come before the real peace is reached.

The poem was probably meant to be about inner peace, but peace in the world can also be illusory.


I many times thought Peace had come
When Peace was far away—
As Wrecked Men—deem they sight the Land—
At Centre of the Sea—
And struggle slacker—but to prove
As hopelessly as I—
How many the fictitious Shores—
Before the Harbor be—

09

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Rabindrinath Tagore: "Peace, My Heart"

11 Memorable Poems About Peace: Inner and World Peace (9)

The Bengal poet, Rabindrinath Tagore, wrote this poem as part of his cycle, "The Gardener." In this, he uses "peace" in the sense of finding peace in the face of impending death.


Peace, my heart, let the time for
the parting be sweet.
Let it not be a death but completeness.
Let love melt into memory and pain
into songs.
Let the flight through the sky end
in the folding of the wings over the
nest.
Let the last touch of your hands be
gentle like the flower of the night.
Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a
moment, and say your last words in
silence.
I bow to you and hold up my lamp
to light you on your way.

10

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Sarah Flower Adams: "Part In Peace: Is Day Before Us?"

11 Memorable Poems About Peace: Inner and World Peace (10)

Sarah Flower Adams was a Unitarian and British poet, many of whose poems have been turned into hymns. (Her most famous poem: "Nearer My God To Thee.")

Adams was part of a progressive Christian congregation, South Place Chapel, that centered on human life and experience. In "Part in Peace" she seems to be describing the feeling of leaving a fulfilling, inspiring church service and returning to everyday life. The second stanza:


Part in peace: with deep thanksgiving,
Rendering, as we homeward tread,
Gracious service to the living,
Tranquil memory to the dead.

The final stanza describes that feeling of parting in peace as being the best way to praise God:


Part in peace: such are the praises
God our Maker loveth best...

11

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman: "To the Indifferent Women"

11 Memorable Poems About Peace: Inner and World Peace (11)

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a feminist writer of the late 19th and early 20th century, was concerned about social justice of many kinds. In "To the Indifferent Women" she denounced as incomplete the kind of feminism that ignored women in poverty, denounced peace-seeking that sought good for one's own family while others suffered. She instead advocated that only with peace for all would peace be real.

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An excerpt:


Yet you are mothers! And a mother's care
Is the first step toward friendly human life.
Life where all nations in untroubled peace
Unite to raise the standard of the world
And make the happiness we seek in homes
Spread everywhere in strong and fruitful love.

FAQs

What is the message of the poem peace? ›

Summary of the poem Peace: The poet in the poem Peace longs for the people of the world to live in peace and harmony. He would want the people of the world to be in complete agreement with each other.

Which poem suggests another world in which one can lead his her life peacefully *? ›

Wadsworth's other poem included here, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," also repeats the theme of a vision of a world where all nations are at peace and reconciled.

What type of poem is peace? ›

'Peace' is a religious poem written by Welsh metaphorical poet, Henry Vaughan who wrote primarily in the 1640s and 1650s. His religious poetry has become quite well-known since then, especially for his volume Silex Scintillans, published in 1650.

Who wrote the poem of peace? ›

The Peace Poem - John Denver.

What is the poem about answer? ›

The poem, 'Answer' by Carol Ann Duffy gives an answer to an implied, rather enigmatic question: “Will I always love you?”; “Will you marry me?”; “Would I still love you if …?” And to give an answer to these questions; the poet makes use of the traditional idea of the four elements; earth, water, fire, and air, with ...

What peace means? ›

Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility and violence. In a social sense, peace is commonly used to mean a lack of conflict (such as war) and freedom from fear of violence between individuals or groups.

What does peace bring to the society? ›

One needs to live in peace because it shows appreciation and returns kindness which makes others want to show peacefulness in Society. Peace is a true divinity door towards internal bliss and happiness state. Love & Peace two important protectors of Humanity.

What can peace bring to people? ›

Peace can bring cultures to share their uniqueness with the world. Peace can bring the wonders of colors to the dinner table; understanding among strangers; peaceful music amongst enemies; tranquility to the mind; life to the soul; love.

Where do you think life is peaceful and why? ›

Answer: Life is peaceful only if you are alone because companions always destory peace and us.

What is peace summary? ›

Answer: Summary of the poem peace: The poet in the poem peace longs that the people of the world should live in peace and harmony. ... He imagines a scene of togetherness where everyone will be holding hands and the world will resound with songs of peace. The poet dreams of a world where there will be no war.

Who is the speaker in the poem? ›

Just like fiction has a narrator, poetry has a speaker–someone who is the voice of the poem. Often times, the speaker is the poet. Other times, the speaker can take on the voice of a persona–the voice of someone else including animals and inanimate objects.

What is peace analysis? ›

An assessment of the peacebuilding environment, including existing peace efforts, actors, de-escalating factors (reduce armed conflict or tensions), and connectors (Paffenholz and Reychler, 2007).

When was the poem peace written? ›

Rupert Brooke's sonnet 'Peace' was inspired by his experience with the Royal Naval Division during the evacuation of Antwerp in October 1914. Brooke wrote the sonnet later that month, and by the end of the year had written four more to complete a sonnet sequence entitled '1914'.

How do you answer a poem in English? ›

Responding to poetry
  1. Focus on the title. Most poems have a carefully chosen title, which can often reveal something about the writer's purpose. ...
  2. Read aloud. ...
  3. Annotate. ...
  4. Look for images, techniques and structural features. ...
  5. Understand the oeuvre. ...
  6. Prepare for a written response.
7 May 2018

Who wrote the poem answer? ›

Bei Dao is the nom de plume of Zhao Zhenkai, widely considered one of China's most important contemporary authors. His poems have been translated into more than 30 languages.

Why do a summary of a poem? ›

The poem 'Why? ' talks about a curious boy who has a lot of questions in his mind. He wants to know why the wood swims but the lead and marble sink. The little boy is curious to know why the sun shines and the wind blows and why it is necessary to eat and drink.

What is peace summary Class 8? ›

In the poem Peace , the poet longs to make the world a home for every religion and community and where there is no hatred or discrimination. The poet wants the people to live in harmony and peace together. Explanation: In the poem, the poet longs that people across the world must live peace and harmony.

What is peace analysis? ›

An assessment of the peacebuilding environment, including existing peace efforts, actors, de-escalating factors (reduce armed conflict or tensions), and connectors (Paffenholz and Reychler, 2007).

What is peace Class 9? ›

Answer: Summary of the poem peace: The poet in the poem peace longs that the people of the world should live in peace and harmony. ... He imagines a scene of togetherness where everyone will be holding hands and the world will resound with songs of peace. The poet dreams of a world where there will be no war.

Which imagery is used in poem peace? ›

The poet has used imagery to depict the picturesque scenario of wind. Negativity in any form destroys peace. Positivity fills life with love and benevolence.

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