Poetry as a Medium of Peace - Guest Editorial

Paramita Mukherjee Mullick

“Peace is the first shower on the scorching earth.

Peace is like a new life, a baby’s birth.

Peace is the chirping of birds in the morn.

Peace is after darkness, the dawn.”

With these few lines from a poem of mine I tried bringing in the essence of peace. But peace is difficult to define it is like love…it is intangible and not visible and also like love, crucial for human existence and development. Without peace there can be no advancement of an individual, without peace a nation cannot grow and without peace the world cannot progress and prosper. Unity and kindness to others is the core of peace. So Dalai Lama says, “Peace is the manifestation of human compassion”. The Bible says, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety”. Safety and security of all is ensured when there is peace.

AI has brought in so much of progress and development in our lives but we are scared that one day AI may be more powerful than us but no, AI can never be greater than human intellect and human emotions. Poetry is an amalgamation of emotions and intellect. So, can poetry bring in peace? Great philosophers, great scientific minds, poets and singers have repeatedly expressed that peace is a conscious decision. In the present scenario, where some parts of the world are still ravaged by war; terrorism still destroys cities and humans still lacerate the dignity of their own kind, we need peace. Poetry may not be a direct instrument of peace but can surely inspire and ignite people’s imagination and empathy towards peace. In poetry, varied and numerous thoughts can be expressed through few words. Poetry touches the hearts of people much quicker than a sermon or a speech. The words of poets have brought in many a revolution and rebellion against atrocities. Their words and expressions have brought in many changes. So quoting a Sama Veda mantra I will say Poetry is “The Sun in seeing; like Fire in brilliance; like Lord Brihaspati in intellect; like the Ashwins in beauty; like Indra-Agni in strength”. So with brilliance, strength, intellect and beauty Poetry is surely a medium of peace.

September being a special month of Peace as 21st September is celebrated as the International Peace Day, Setu worships Peace through Poetry. Twenty one brilliant poets from all around India and the world have come together to usher in peace with their emotions, their expressions and their words. It was a wonderful and enriching experience to go through their poems. Some have brought in the conservation aspect when peace prevails. Some have used lingering imagery to beautify peace. Scenes of Mahabharata have been reproduced by some to collate with peace. Again the aspect of inner peace has been put forward by some. Yes inner peace is the most essential component of world peace. Buddha says, “Peace comes from within and not without”. The calm and peace of the inner being diffuses all around like a fragrant perfume, to the society, to the community and to the world.  The beauty, the strength and power of their poetry will certainly stir our thoughts and we will be more conscious about bringing in and spreading peace around.

I am humbled and honoured to have guest edited this section of peace poetry in the September issue of Setu. I am grateful to the Setu team. 

Paramita Mukherjee Mullick

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