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General News    H4'ed 3/20/12

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

Message Rick Rozoff



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

Compiled by Rick Rozoff






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


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


Bjà rnstjerne Bjà rnson: 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 Ä'apek: 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


Rubà n Darà o: 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


EÃ a de Queiroz: Afghanistan


Paul Ã"degreesluard: 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?


FÃ 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 Ã"degreesmile 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 Garcà a Mà rquez: Five wars and seventeen military coups


Vsevolod Garshin: Four Days


Andrà 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 Guillà n: The monsters have passed over


Nicolàs Guillà 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


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


Miguel Hernà 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 HÃ lderlin: 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


Jaros..."aw 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 JÃ zsef: 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 Bruyà re on the lust for war


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


Selma Lagerlà f: 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


Halldà r 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 Garcà a 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 Hsà n: 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!


Josà Martà : 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


Kenzabur... ...'e: 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 PÃ 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-Exupà 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 Valà ry on global conflicts, Europe governed by American commission


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


Ã"degreesmile 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


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


Ã"degreesmile 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:
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