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Lay for the Day
10th December

The Nobel Peace Prize was first awarded on this day in 1901. The laureates were Jean Henri Dunant, founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Frédéric Passy, economist, politician and pacifist, who founded the Permanent International Peace League, the French Society of the Friends of Peace, and the French Society for Arbitration Between Nations.
From the book of Praises:

19. Of Them Who Hold

The bullet must fly if the hammer falls
but that you pull the trigger is not inevitable,
refusing to give to war the honorific title
tragedy, whose pain and death are neither,
as the light and the dark paint are neither light nor darkness;
and which awakes our suffering with a sense of purpose
as a shade evokes illumination.

Corruptible ends of mortal powers,
hounded by shortness and greedy for extenuation,
are poor parables of design’s aesthetic government.
Those who, on seeing the compositions
that slaughter offers the lens, insist these scenes need never
be, and being, have no mitigation, are all our blood-
stained states can afford in mitigation.

John Gibbens
from Collected Poems


The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar