The war in Ukraine has created a heightened sense of the immanence of life, and the need to raise voices to speak out against war, to speak out for peace.
Bedenke, deine Worte sind wichtig. Bedenke Deine Worte Bedenke, deine Gedanken sind stark. Bedenke Deine Gedanken Consider your words are important – consider your words Consider your thoughts are strong – consider your thoughts
This poem of Denise Haller’s is one voice among the chorus of poets from the Performance Lightful, which held at Gleis in Zurich on April 2, 2022. The group has been meeting for a year now in a space dedicated to poetry. In that space, poems are written to name spring and summer, to put floats and sunshine in words, to shout out against corona and fears.
With war, poetry has become a movement from speechlessness to listening to the sound and words of a poem.
The poem An Allergy is beginning again by Natalka Bilozerkiwez familiarises itself with the social and political context of the Ukraine, though written in another time.
... Will we live to see Washington? ... We eventually will!
With war, poetry becomes a movement from listening to a poem to re-arranging words such as when A War is beginning again struggles to name the fears, anger, and human madness— …
Werden wir morgen noch leben? Will we still be alive, tomorrow? (Lilian Frei)
With war, poetry strives to write meaningful words, as spots in the darkness.
For the collective of poets, the Imagine Peace Tower of Yoko Ono was one inspiration to compose light-ful poem.
Peace Tower from Sophia Grieder allows us to travel to the stars, and leave the war and loss behind.
If only you could climb out of this world My wounded soldier Set foot on a notch in the stone Take hold of the overgrowing ivy Foot after foot, hand after hand You don’t have to be afraid of falling My hurting friend For the world behind you has vanished Along with all the painful memories of war after war, loss after loss Finally, you will have reached the spire My ailing child Your gaze can only go further up To stars filled with light and truth That won’t hurt you nevermore
From that distance, up in the stars or at a poetry performance, we may find a way back to earth – filled with light and truth – to create light around us.