Peace Poems

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Peace in literature is often explored in three forms. Peace between peoples: the absence of war. Tales of soldiers, warriors. Told from the side-lines, or articulated by those who went to battle themselves – and civilians, caught in the conflict.

Those that survived published verses on the butchery, and camaraderie, they had seen. The poets of the first would war would write of the folly of conflict, how men were revealed as monsters. They could hardly imagine a better tomorrow. And yet for many poets, the hope of peace perseveres.

Then there’s inner peace – serenity. It means freedom from worry, exalting the value of enduring contentment over everything else. But it can also be reflected in the ability to exercise autonomy, even if for only a few moments in the day. Here you’ll find blissful verses, teeming with gentle joy, gratefully appreciated.

And at last there’s tranquillity, the sort found in nature. The cyclical rhythms of the sea. Birdsong. Perhaps a time when everything comes to a standstill, a pulsating city taking a breath once in a while.

So many forms of literature are built on conflict – narrative demands it. But poetry can be a simple expression of a time and a place. It is allowed the freedom to pause. We hope you might put aside your worries and do the same – here are some of the best peace poems ever written.

I Many Times Thought Peace Had Come

I many times thought Peace had come
When Peace was far away-
As Wrecked Men-deem they sight the Land-
At Centre of the Sea-

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
10 December 1830 - 15 May 1886

O Sun of Real Peace

O SUN of real peace! O hastening light!
O free and extatic! O what I here, preparing, warble for!
O the sun of the world will ascend, dazzling, and take his height–
and you too, O my Ideal, will surely ascend!

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892


AH, that Time could touch a form
That could show what Homer’s age
Bred to be a hero’s wage.
Were not all her life but storm…

William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats
13 June 1865 - 28 January 1939

Peace On Earth

The Archer is wake!
The Swan is flying!
Gold against blue
An Arrow is lying.

William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams
17 September 1883 - 4 March 1963

Peace Poems