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Poetry for Peace Contest

The Poetry for Peace contest was held from 15 September until 14 October 2011. The winners were anounced at a ceremony at UN headquarters in New York.

Below is one of the contest entries.


 I heard this song in the valley of death
Just before I lost my breath:

 We have come with you to the shores of eternity
"Awe, bleoo!"
We have brought our tears in baskets to quench your fears on your journey into limbo
"Anyemi, bleoo!"
Your cock now crows at noon; there is no one to wake and offer grain
"Onua, due ne amanehunu".

Lend me a basket of sorrows to hold my tears
Give be splintered arrows to pierce my fears
I have seen the dance of stained arrows
Of battered shields and vain-glorious medals
I bring mushrooms for the royal widows.

Mothers slain at the market of nine moons
Warriors fallen at the race of cowardly bullets
Wet clouds draped around youthful noons
Nights with dripping bloody moons.

If I killed the
Who sounded
                       the drums for the dance of death
Who drank
                     victory's intoxication from innocent skulls
If I killed
                                 the generals etched in history
                            who ordered the men to kill and be killed
         to be forgotten on the day of dark glories

If I killed
             the warriors
      who killed and were killed
I would only foment a greater war

So I call this song from the estranged battlefield:
Come let us melt our fears in one cauldron
To make the poultice to heal our war-torn world
Let us sing the universal love song
"Peace be still"

— Nana Asaase


All Poems Submitted to the Contest


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