Category Archives: Denise Levertov

Poetry about peace

Origami Cranes at Manzanar


Hello, I’m back for real now.  This past week was hectic getting back into the groove of reality, but now that my head is back on straight, I can resume with my updates.  To kickstart things, I’m going to begin with posting poems (as I like to do on the weekends).

I chose today’s poem because it is about peace.  If you pay any attention to the news, you can’t ignore all of the horrific and violent events presently happening in the world.  We’re killing each other.  We’re killing animals.  We’re killing the earth.  Instead of becoming overwhelmed with despair, however, we have to concentrate on initiating change and working towards peace for the future.  Now, a poem may not fix all of our problems, but poetry lend a voice to hope.

Making Peace
Denise Levertov – Copyright 1987, Breathing the Water

A voice from the dark called out,
“The poets must give us
imagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiar
imagination of disaster. Peace, not only
the absence of war.”

But peace, like a poem,
is not there ahead of itself,
can’t be imagined before it is made,
can’t be known except
in the words of its making,
grammar of justice,
syntax of mutual aid.

A feeling towards it,
dimly sensing a rhythm, is all we have
until we begin to utter its metaphors,
learning them as we speak.

A line of peace might appear
if we restructured the sentence our lives are making,
revoked its reaffirmation of profit and power,
questioned our needs, allowed
long pauses. . . .

A cadence of peace might balance its weight
on that different fulcrum; peace, a presence,
an energy field more intense than war,
might pulse then,
stanza by stanza into the world,
each act of living
one of its words, each word
a vibration of light—facets
of the forming crystal.

If you have any favorite poems about peace, please feel free to share in the comments.

Leave a comment

Filed under Denise Levertov, Poetry, Women Writers