Sonnet V: The Peace Prayer | David Emeron: Sonnets

I have recently titled this one “The Peace Prayer” which is a reference to Samuel Clemens’ (Mark Twain) “The War Prayer”

These two are none too opposite, in that they both reflect something quite true, and point out, among other things, unintended consequences; Mr Clemens work, the untended consequences of war and praying for victory in war; and mine, the same for peace. This dichotomy underscores for me the nature of peace and how peace and freedom are related. Freedom, even here in the US, creeps away by inches. I think it must not matter the form of governance attempting to watch over it, except to say that the US has been remarkably resistant to this, particularly when one realises that we are much more a target for such sedition than perhaps any other civilised nation.

I have come to realise that there is only one price with which such freedom can be purchased back once it has crept away to a greater or lesser degree. That price is paid in blood. I believe our founders knew this and took amazing steps, given their circumstances, to preserve this hard won freedom for as long as possible.

She sang her hymn before her eyes had seen
The glory of the coming of the Lord;
The blood, and death, of mortar, gun, and sword;
And brother killing brother, long had been.

Then callow, sang of peace, with freedom won,
To eager faces, white, and brown… and black;
Whose liberty had just been handed back
Still soaked with blood by mortar, sword, and gun.

Imagine men had heard that hymn, four score
And seven years of blood and death before;
Heard next her callow, pacifists decree;
Laid down their arms to study war no more.

With shackled peace, from sea to shining sea,
What hue would, now, such eager faces be?

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Part 7: (14 lines by clause)

Here you will find the words themselves, presented in freeverse as simply and compactly as possible.  The order of the words is not changed; there is nothing added or removed, but punctuated in order to make it easier to follow the words–something just short of prose, perhaps.   And although the  line lengths appear problematic, it so happens that there are 14 of these lines.

I should state that the words were originally written this way, although you might have suspected that the original form was presented in part 5.  In any case, the words are easily understood now.

Just read the words.  Think about what they mean; perhaps in answer to the original prompt:

Part 4: (verbs)

I thought the following would be an interesting form of analysis.  What would happen, I wondered, if I picked out all or most of the verb/verb-like structures and began each line with them?  How many would there be, and what form would begin to unfold?  Strangely Triadic line more or less suggests itself.  Not of the form I originally showed but still this exercise generates 14 verses, and it might start to become clear that I tend to subconsciously “think in sonnets.”  I wasn’t aware originally that some of these types of patterns would arise, but it seems as though they have.

Have a look and see if this helps you understand the words any better.  What does one think of when one sees such lines?  It is curious that many of the lines appear to look and sound like a certain variety of 20 century poetry; wherein one often sees lines beginning and ending in odd spots–possibly to create tension, and possibly for some other reason–or even no reason at all.