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250 anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

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http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/anti-war-essays-poems-short-stories-and-novel-excerpts/

 

 

250 anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

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Compiled by Rick Rozoff

 

 

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Joseph Addison: Already have our quarrels fill'd the world with widows and with orphans

 

Aeschylus: Ares, father of tears, mows the field of man

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Aesop: The lies of lupine liberators

 

Conrad Aiken: Vast symphonic dance of death

 

Alain: Why is there war?

 

Richard Aldington: Pools and ponds of blood, the huge black dogs of hell

 

Yehuda Amichai: Knowledge of peace passes from country to country, like children's games

 

Amiel on war

 

Leonid Andreyev: The Red Laugh

 

Louis Aragon: The peace that forces murder down to its knees for confession

 

Aristides on the two types of war: Bad and worse

 

Aristophanes: Rescuing Peace

 

Aristotle: Leader not praiseworthy in training citizens for conquest and dominion

 

Edwin Arnold: My chariot shall not roll with bloody wheels till earth wears the red record of my name

 

Arrian: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and the fate of conquerors

 

W.H. Auden: A land laid waste, its towns in terror and all its young men slain

 

Henri Barbusse: Under Fire

 

Julien Benda: Military mysticism

 

Walter Benjamin: Self-alienated mankind experiences its own destruction as aesthetic pleasure

 

Ambrose Bierce: Killed At Resaca

 

Ambrose Bierce: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

 

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson: All labor's dread of war's mad waste and murder

 

William Blake: O for a voice like thunder, and a tongue to drown the throat of war!

 

Alexander Blok: The kite, the mother and endless war

 

Boethius: Provoking death's destined day by waging unjust and cruel wars

 

Wolfgang Borchert: Only one thing to do, say No!

 

James Boswell: On War

 

Randolph Bourne: The War and the Intellectuals

 

Randolph Bourne: War and the State

 

Georg Brandes: An Appeal Against Wholesale Murder

 

Bertolt Brecht: German Miserere

 

Robert Browning: They sent a million fighters forth South and North

 

William Cullen Bryant: Christmas 1875

 

Byron: War did glut himself again, all earth was but one thought -- and that was death

 

Thomas Campbell: The snow shall be their winding-sheet, every turf a soldier's sepulchre

 

Thomas Campion: Then bloody swords and armour should not be

 

Albert Camus: Where war lives. The reign of beasts has begun.

 

Karel Čapek: The War with the Newts

 

Ernesto Cardenal: They speak of peace and secretly prepare for war

 

Thomas Carlyle: What blood-filled trenches, and contentious centuries, may still divide us!

 

Catullus: Appalled by fratricide, gods turned from man

 

Cervantes: Everything then was friendship, everything was harmony

 

Chateaubriand: Would-be master of the world who knew only how to destroy

 

Coleridge: All our dainty terms for fratricide

 

William Collins: Ode to Peace

 

Joseph Conrad: Men go mad in protest against "peculiar sanity" of war

 

Homo homini lupus: William Cowper on war and man's inhumanity to man

 

Stephen Crane: There was crimson clash of war

 

Stephen Crane: War Is Kind

 

Rube'n Daro: You think the future is wherever your bullet strikes

 

John Davidson: Blood in torrents pour in vain, for war breeds war again

 

Austin Dobson: Before Sedan

 

John Donne: War and misery are one thing

 

John Dos Passos: Three Soldiers

 

1862: Dostoevsky on the new world order

 

Theodore Dreiser and Smedley Butler: War is a Racket

 

W.E.B. Du Bois: Work for Peace

 

Georges Duhamel: The Fleshmongers, War's Winnowing Basket

 

Paul Laurence Dunbar: Birds of peace and deadened hearts

 

Eça de Queiroz: Afghanistan

 

Paul Éluard: True law of men despite the misery and war

 

Erasmus: The Complaint of Peace

 

Euripides: The crown of War, the crown of Woe

 

William Faulkner: There is only the question: When will I be blown up?

 

Fe'nelon: War is the most dreadful of all evils by which heaven has afflicted man

 

Fichte: The inexorable law of universal peace

 

Henry Fielding: On the condign fate of Great Men and conquerors

 

Gustave Flaubert and George Sand: Monstrous conflicts of which we have no idea; warfare suppressed or civilization perishes

 

Anatole France on Émile Zola, military terrorism and world peace

 

Anatole France on Victor Hugo: People to substitute justice and peace for war and bloodshed

 

Anatole France on war

 

Ivan Franko: Even the dove has the blood of men on its snowy white wings

 

John Galsworthy, 1911: Air war last and worst hideous development of the black arts of warfare

 

Rasul Gamzatov: For women war is never over

 

Gabriel Garca Ma'rquez: Five wars and seventeen military coups

 

Vsevolod Garshin: Four Days

 

Andre' Gide: Transformation of a war supporter

 

William Godwin: Inventions of a barbarous age, deluging provinces with blood

 

Maxim Gorky on Romain Rolland, war and humanism

 

Remy de Gourmont: Getting drunk at the dirty cask of militarism

 

Robert Graves: Recalling the last war, preparing for the next

 

Thomas Gray: Clouds of carnage blot the sun; weave the crimson web of war

 

Jorge Guille'n: The monsters have passed over

 

Nicola's Guille'n: Come, dove, come tell me the tale of your woe

 

Thomas Hardy: All-Earth-gladdening Law of Peace, war's apology wholly stultified

 

Frank Harris: Henri Barbusse and the war against war

 

Nathaniel Hawthorne on war: Drinking out of skulls till the Millennium

 

William Hazlitt: Systematic patrons of eternal war

 

Ernest Hemingway: Combat the murder that is war

 

Jose'-Maria de Heredia: Drunk with dreams that brutal conquests bring

 

Miguel Herna'ndez: Wretched Wars

 

Herodotus: No one is fool enough to choose war instead of peace

 

Robert Herrick: The olive branch, the arch of peace

 

Alexander Herzen: War and "international law"

 

Hesiod: Lamentable works of Ares lead to dank house of Hades

 

Nazim Hikmet: The Little Girl

 

Nazim Hikmet: Sad kind of freedom, free to be an American air base

 

Friedrich Hölderlin: Celebration of Peace

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes: Hymn to Peace

 

Julia Ward Howe: Mother's Day Proclamation 1870

 

William Dean Howells: Editha

 

William Dean Howells: Spanish Prisoners of War

 

Victor Hugo: The face of Cain, hunters of men, sublime cutthroats

 

Victor Hugo: International Peace Congress 1851

 

Leigh Hunt: Captain Sword and Captain Pen

 

Leigh Hunt: Some Remarks On War And Military Statesmen

 

Aldous Huxley: Rhetorical devices used to conceal fundamental absurdity and monstrosity of war

 

Avetik Issahakian: Eternal fabricators of war, erecting pyramids with a myriad skulls

 

Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz: The word pax, pax, pax

 

William James: The Moral Equivalent of War

 

William James: The Philippine Tangle

 

Samuel Johnson on war

 

Joseph Joubert on war: All victors will be defeated

 

Attila József: War stirs its withering alarms, I shudder to see hatred win

 

Juvenal: Mighty warriors and their tombs are circumscribed by Fate

 

Immanuel Kant: Prescription for perpetual peace

 

Nikos Kazantzakis: Francis of Assisi

 

Keats: Days innocent of scathing war

 

Ellen Key: Overcoming the madness of a world at war

 

Karl Kraus: The Last Days of Mankind

 

Karl Kraus: The Warmakers

 

La Bruyère on the lust for war

 

La Fontaine: When shall Peace pack up these bloody darts?

 

Selma Lagerlöf: The Fifth Commandment. The Great Beast is War.

 

Lamartine: The republic of peace

 

Sidney Lanier: Death in Eden

 

Sidney Lanier: War by other means

 

D.H. Lawrence: All modern militarism is foul

 

D.H. Lawrence: Future War, Murderous Weapons, Refinements of Evil

 

Halldór Laxness: In war there is no cause except the cause of war. A bitter disappointment when it turned out they could defend themselves

 

Richard Le Gallienne: The Illusion of War

 

Stephen Leacock: The war mania of middle age and embonpoint

 

Sinclair Lewis: It Can("t) Happen Here

 

Li Bai: Nefarious War

 

Livy: On the political utility of starting unprovoked wars

 

Jack London: War

 

Federico Garca Lorca: War goes crying with a million gray rats

 

James Russell Lowell on Lamartine: Highest duty of man, to summon peace when vulture of war smells blood

 

Lu Hsun: Ballads among bushes of bayonets, hungry dove amid crumbling walls

 

Lucan: Over all the world you are victorious and your soldiers die

 

Lucian: War propaganda and its hyperbole

 

Hugh MacDiarmid: A war to save civilization, you say?

 

Bernard Mandeville: How to induce men to kill and die

 

Heinrich Mann: Mission of letters in a world in rubble with 10 million corpses underground

 

Thomas Mann: Dirge for a homeland wasted by war

 

Christopher Marlowe: Accurs'd be he that first invented war!

 

Jose' Mart: Oscar Wilde on war and aesthetics

 

Roger Martin du Gard: From Nobel Prize in Literature speech

 

Andrew Marvell: When roses only arms might bear

 

Edgar Lee Masters: "The honor of the flag must be upheld"

 

Edgar Lee Masters: The Philippine Conquest

 

Herman Melville: Trophies of Peace

 

H.L. Mencken: New wars will bring about an unparalleled butchery of men

 

George Meredith: On the Danger of War

 

Adam Mickiewicz: The transient glory of military conquerors

 

Milton: Men levy cruel wars, wasting the earth, each other to destroy

 

Milton: Without ambition, war, or violence

 

Eugenio Montale: Poetry in an era of nuclear weapons and Doomsday atmosphere

 

William Vaughn Moody: Bullet's scream went wide of its mark to its homeland's heart

 

William Morris: Protecting the strong from the weak, selling each other weapons to kill their own countrymen

 

Nikolai Nekrasov: In War

 

Pablo Neruda: Bandits with planes, jackals that the jackals would despise

 

Novalis: Celebrating a great banquet of love as a festival of peace

 

Alfred Noyes: The Wine Press

 

Vladimir Odoevsky: City without a name, system with one

 

Kenzaburō Ōe: Categorical imperative to renounce war forever

 

Wilfred Owen: Arms and the Boy and Disabled

 

Pascal on war: An assassin if he kills in his own country, a hero if in another

 

Charles Pe'guy: Cursed be war, cursed of God

 

Petrarch: Wealth and power at a bloody rate is wicked, better bread and water eat with peace

 

Pindar: The arts versus war

 

Harold Pinter: Art, Truth and Politics

 

Plato: No true statesman looks only, or first of all, to external warfare

 

Plutarch: On war and its opponents

 

Edgar Allan Poe: The Valley of Unrest

 

Alexander Pope: Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend

 

J.B. Priestley: Insane regress of ultimate weapons leads to radioactive cemetery

 

Propertius: Elegy on war

 

Marcel Proust: Every day war is declared anew

 

Salvatore Quasimodo: In every country a cultural tradition opposes war

 

Herbert Read: Bombing Casualties

 

Arthur Rimbaud: Evil

 

Yannis Ritsos: Peace

 

Edwin Arlington Robinson: Though your very flesh and blood the Eagle eats and drinks, you'll praise him for the best of birds

 

Romain Rolland: Above The Battle

 

Romain Rolland: Ara Pacis and Ave, Caesar, Morituri Te Salutant

 

Romain Rolland: Message to America on the will to conquer the world

 

Romain Rolland: Where to rebuild the world after war?

 

Ronsard: Far away from Europe and far from its wars

 

Rousseau: The State of War

 

Saint-Exupe'ry: Charred flesh of children viewed with indifference

 

Sallust: Lust for dominion the reason for war

 

Carl Sandburg: Ready to Kill

 

George Santayana on war and militarism

 

Friedrich Schiller: Oh, blessed peace, may the day of grim War's ruthless crew never dawn

 

Olive Schreiner: Give me back my dead!

 

Olive Schreiner: The bestiality and insanity of war

 

Albert Schweitzer: On nuclear weapons in NATO's hands

 

Senancour: Lottery of war amid heaps of the dead

 

Seneca on war: Deeds punished by death when committed by individuals praised when carried out by generals

 

George Bernard Shaw: The shallowness of the ideals of men ignorant of history is their destruction

 

Militarist myopia: George Bernard Shaw's Common Sense About the War

 

Juvenilia: Percy Bysshe Shelley on war

 

Taras Shevchenko: The civilizing mission"at sword's point

 

Victor Domingo Silva: Cain, the fratricide

 

Edith Sitwell: Dirge for the New Sunrise

 

Sophocles: War the destroyer

 

Robert Southey: The Battle of Blenheim

 

Wole Soyinka: Africa victim, never perpetrator, of theo/ideological wars

 

Wole Soyinka: Civilian and Soldier

 

Stephen Spender: Ultima Ratio Regum

 

Stendhal and Byron: Military leprosy; fronts of brass and feet of clay

 

Jonathan Swift: Lemuel Gulliver on War

 

Tacitus: The robbery, slaughter and plunder that empire calls peace

 

Tennyson: Till the war-drum throbb'd no longer, and the battle-flags were furl'd

 

Theocritus: May spiders spin their slender webs over weapons of war

 

Dylan Thomas: The Hand That Signed the Paper

 

James Thomson: Peace is the natural state of man; war his corruption, his disgrace

 

Thucydides: Admonitions against war

 

Tibullus: War is a crime perpetrated by hearts hardened like weapons

 

Ernst Toller: Corpses In The Woods

 

Alexei Tolstoy: The one incontestable result was dead bodies

 

Leo Tolstoy: The Law of Love and the Law of Violence

 

Leo Tolstoy: Two Wars and Carthago Delenda Est

 

Georg Trakl: Night beckons to dying soldiers, the ghosts of the killed are sighing

 

Kurt Tucholsky: The White Spots

 

Mark Twain: The War Prayer

 

Mark Twain: To the Person Sitting in Darkness

 

Lesya Ukrainka: Do you understand that word called war?

 

Paul Vaillant-Couturier: The Song of Craonne

 

Paul Vale'ry on global conflicts, Europe governed by American commission

 

Ce'sar Vallejo: So much love and yet so powerless against death

 

Émile Verhaeren: I hold war in execration; ashamed to be butchers of their fellows

 

Paul Verlaine: The joy of sweet peace without victory

 

Virgil: Age of peace

 

Voltaire: War

 

Franz Werfel: To a Lark in War-Time

 

John Greenleaf Whittier: If this be Peace, pray what is War?

 

John Greenleaf Whittier: The Peace Convention at Brussels

 

Oscar Wilde: Antidote to war

 

Oscar Wilde: Crimson seas of war, Great Game in Central and South Asia

 

Wordsworth: We felt as men should feel at vast carnage

 

Xenophon: Socrates' war sophistry; civil crimes are martial virtues

 

Edward Young: Draw the murd'ring sword to give mankind a single lord

 

Marguerite Yourcenar: Fruits of war are food for new wars

 

Émile Zola on war mania: A blind and deaf beast let loose amid death and destruction, laden with cannon-fodder

 

Émile Zola: One sole city of peace and truth and justice

 

Zuhair: Accursed thing, war will grind you between millstones

 

Arnold Zweig: Education Before Verdun

 

Stefan Zweig: The fear of opposing military hysteria

 

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Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/

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