November 7, 2005
I used the poem "Peace" by C.K. Williams this month as our writing prompt model. (You should be able to read it here.)
That poem looks at a kind of peace - first by looking at its absence - in a relationship fight that wears on even into sleep and dreams. (Look at "Peace" by Lesley Ullman for some contrast.)
However, "peace" holds different meanings for each of us at different times. In times of war, the absence of war is likely to be the first definition to come to mind. When "we fight for hours", as in his poem, I would guess that tranquility, quiet and harmony in our relations would better fit the bill. We even use the word at times to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell.
I like that this poem takes a different take on the meaning and, in fact, doesn't use the word within the poem, and yet it does arrive at a kind of peace.
Having grown up in the 1960's, peace was frequently a symbol both literally & more figuratively. I knew a number of people who went off and joined the Peace Corps. There is a Nobel Prize for Peace. We can do a meditation for peace and it can be to bring our own inner peace or as part of a group's efforts to bring peace to the world. There are plenty of organizations working for peace - like http://www.peace-action.org/
In "Peace, after Long Madness" by Ned O'Gorman, peace is an assassin. And I suppose that reading poems about war might actually be a way to approach peace too.