Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PEACE, by WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS



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PEACE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I grant you: peace is desirable. War being, in a figure
Last Line: Subsidized -- it also has its courage.
Subject(s): Peace


I grant you: peace is desirable. War being, in a figure, its antithesis is
wholly detestable to the lover of peace.

But there are lovers and lovers.

It is stupid to advocate peace in order to have me work in a factory or a field
or a mine or a quarry or a forest or on the sea or at a desk or on the ice or at
the sea's bottom -- unless I please to do these things.

To substitute for me a lesser war for another greater is the hollowest mockery -
- to substitute war with fire by war with mud is vilest deception. Either I
must have war or none.

Peace is noble only when it sends me out a tramp -- my peace made with the world
-- a lily of the field if you will.

But who is there that advocates peace? I have seen no true apostles. I have
read of few. And it is notable that these do not form societies -- Tolstoi to
the contrary.

Peace requires genius to be preached. It is a rare high thing -- it is not
subsidized -- it also has its courage.





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