Sunday, November 30, 2008

War and Peace

by Stanley Moss

The trade of war is over, there are no more battles,
but simple murder is still in.
The No God, Time, creeps his way,
universe after universe, like a great snapping turtle
opening its mouth wagging its tongue
to look like a worm or leech
so deceived hungry fish, every living thing
swims in to feed. Quarks long for dark holes,
atoms butter up molecules, protons do unto neutrons
what they would have neutrons do unto them.
The trade of war has been over so long,
the meaning of war in the O.E.D. is now “nonsense.”
In the Russian Efron Encyclopedia,
war, voina, means “dog shit”;
in the Littré, guerre is “a verse form, obsolete”;
in Germany, Krieg has become “a whipped-cream pastry”;
Sea of Words, the Chinese dictionary,
has war, zhan zheng, as “making love in public,”
while war in Arabic and Hebrew, with the same
Semitic throat, harb and milchamah, is defined
as “anything our distant grandfathers ate
we no longer find tempting—like the eyes of sheep.”
And lions eat grass.

Source: The New Yorker


Maria Sondule said...

Wow, this is definitely a different kind of poem. But I like it. Things will never be like this, I'm afraid.

changetheworld360 said...

I love The New Yorker. :)
This poem definitely gets you thinking about the world on a lot of different levels. He uses many peculiar comparisons which really enhance the poem. I might try using this technique in my own poems. We'll see how that turns out.

Zany said...

My favourite part of the poem is the semitic similarity between Arabic and Hebrew. I don't want to get into the Middle East geo-politics too much, but the Jews and Muslims have faced similar struggles, in the past. I think they need to be reminded of that, and I think the poet subtly alludes to that.

For instance, when Prophet Mohammed left Mecca, because his life was in danger, it was the Jews in Yasreb who were willing to work together with him to live in peace.
And, this story of co-existence and religious tolerence is something you almost never hear.

Maria, I agree maybe it is naive to dream of coexistence and peace, but believing that we are faced with the same struggles is the first step towards the much coveted world peace.

Religion and ethnicity are just arbitrary barriers people have created to divide us.

changetheworld360, you should post your poems; I would love to read them :).