larryhammer: a wisp of colored smoke, label: "softly and suddenly vanished away" (disappeared)
[personal profile] larryhammer
For Poetry Monday, more modern sonnets:


Peace, Eleanor Farjeon

I.

I am as awful as my brother War,
I am the sudden silence after clamour.
I am the face that shows the seamy scar
When blood and frenzy has lost its glamour.
Men in my pause shall know the cost at last
That is not to be paid in triumphs or tears,
Men will begin to judge the thing that’s past
As men will judge it in a hundred years.

Nations! whose ravenous engines must be fed
Endlessly with the father and the son,
My naked light upon your darkness, dread!—
By which ye shall behold what ye have done:
Whereon, more like a vulture than a dove,
Ye set my seal in hatred, not in love.

II.

Let no man call me good. I am not blest.
My single virtue is the end of crimes,
I only am the period of unrest,
The ceasing of horrors of the times;
My good is but the negative of ill,
Such ill as bends the spirit with despair,
Such ill as makes the nations’ soul stand still
And freeze to stone beneath a Gorgon glare.

Be blunt, and say that peace is but a state
Wherein the active soul is free to move,
And nations only show as mean or great
According to the spirit then they prove.—
O which of ye whose battle-cry is Hate
Will first in peace dare shout the name of Love?


Farjeon (1881-1965) was a writer and poet known especially for her children's stories (she won both the Carnegie and Hans Christian Andersen medals). Her best-known lyric is the hymn "Morning Has Broken," largely because of the Cat Stevens recording. This appeared in a 1918 collection.

---L.

Subject quote from 32 Flavors, Ani DiFranco.

Date: 7 January 2019 03:15 pm (UTC)
sartorias: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sartorias
That is quite lovely. Figures that she was a poet.

Date: 7 January 2019 04:24 pm (UTC)
cmcmck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cmcmck
She wrote a study about the last years of Edward Thomas's life which is well worth a read.

Date: 7 January 2019 04:34 pm (UTC)
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
From: [personal profile] rymenhild
Oh, wow. She spoke as a prophet.

Date: 7 January 2019 07:14 pm (UTC)
sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
From: [personal profile] sovay
I only am the period of unrest,
The ceasing of horrors of the times


There's something this reminds me of, but I can't place it, and I know it's not this poem. I've never read it before; I'd have remembered that turn. I would have guessed 1918 if you hadn't said.

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