Pens Not Swords an essay on Poets Against War.
An international movement, Poets Against War, was born. In a newspaper ad that winter, Hamill called on “the Bush administration to halt its headlong rush toward war, to heed the voices of the people of the world, and to seek peaceful means of resolving conflicts in company with the world community.”
“At no time in history,” the ad read, “have so many poets spoken in such a large chorus.”
Three years later, Poets Against War continues to speak out forcefully against the targeting of civilians in the conflict in Lebanon this summer and urging members to work and vote for candidates committed to ending the war in Iraq. Sister organizations are emerging in India and Colombia and Argentina. Other poets are active as well: Editor Sankar Roy is compiling an anthology of poems in response to the crisis in Darfur, and Mizna, a journal of Arab American letters, is soliciting poems about Lebanon.
The movement has successfully brought poetic voices into the foreign policy realm and injected geopolitics into the world of poetry. In connecting to a vibrant tradition of anti-war verse, Poets Against War has amplified the power of the word against the limited might of the sword.