Almost four years ago, we interviewed Hanneke Eggel,s, a peace poet, who expresses her concern for  peace and justice through the means of poetry. Ms. Eggels recognizes the strong link between poetry and politics, since many peace activists have used poetry as an effective means to communicate their ideas to a worldwide audience.

For this year, ms. Eggels was inspired to write a poem about Bertha von Suttner. Since June is the month of Bertha von Suttner birthday as well as the day of the death, we have decided to publish Ms. Eggels’ poem: ‘Bertha ‘s Bell in GMT’.

 

 

Bertha’s bell in GMT

from the fortress tower

of the peace palace

a new bell sadder

but wiser tells

 

your hour in a cloud of

powder and offers proudly

and kindly a place to stay

to a foreign melody

 

her fragile effort calms

down the fury of

the salty sea  be it

a noble sound for

 

whom the bell tolls

in your peace town

girls do live 100 years

longer while tinkers’

 

bell tones leave

a lingering rhyme

awakening above

the madding crowd

 

in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

 

Hanneke Eggels, 2013-2015

Notes

  • Nobelprize for Peace Bertha von Suttner. Austrian peace activist (1843-1914)
  • The Hague’s Centenary gift: a bell for the carillon of the Peace Palace.
  • Life expectancy for newborn girls in 2013 is 100 years..
  • Title of a book by Nobelprize winner Ernest Hemingway: For whom the bell tolls
  • Title of a book by Thomas Hardy: Far from the madding crowd.

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