Prague’s Lennon Wall covered in poems for Ukraine

A Prague-based poetry social network is providing a forum for poets across the world to express their thoughts and feelings about the war in Ukraine.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 19.04.2022 16:38:00 (updated on 19.04.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague’s Lennon Wall has been covered in poetry written to support Ukraine. The works were submitted by writers across the world to the Prague-based online poetry platform Poetizer as part of their #WeStandWithU initiative.

The poems have been collected in a PDF file called “Make Poetry Not War, Poems for the People of Ukraine,” with over 1,800 pages.

People can still submit their efforts on the topic. “We will continue to add poems to the PDF and continue to string new poems along the John Lennon Wall in Prague. So, keep submitting,” Poetizer said on Facebook.

Poetizer has also been sharing highlights of some readings that took place last month on World Poetry Day at the Lennon Wall over Facebook and Instagram.

Local singer Tonya Graves, who was born in the U.S. but has lived in Prague for almost three decades, read out the poem "No War in Ukraine" by Karin Quade.

“No war in Ukraine / they say / and try to find a way / to stop the playbook in play - only to fail / at the end of the day.”

Karin Quade

Quade, who lives in Germany, said the poem was inspired by a 1935 French play by French Jean Giraudoux called “The Trojan War Will Not Take Place” or “Tiger at the Gates,” which describes the efforts being made to prevent a war that takes place at the end of the day anyway. “I wrote it five days before the war in Ukraine started,” Quade said.

Graves described the poem as short and sweet but making its point. Quade has several other entries in the project, some substantially longer.

The original idea behind the project was to collect poems from all around the world and share them with Ukrainians. “At a time of such strife and terror, it is so important for us to unite and prove to the world that words have the power to heal, and that goodness will overcome evil,” the introduction to the collection states.

Poetizer adds that they hope the poems show people that humans are more connected by similarity than diversity.

Not all of the poems read at the Lennon Wall were new works from the #WeStandWithU initiative. Poet Scott Nixon read a translation of "Testament" by 19th century Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko. It still resonated almost 200 years later.

The Poetizer platform, which can be downloaded as an app for both Android and iOS, was launched as a venue for poets to share their work. Founder and managing director Lukáš Sedláček told Kafkadesk that he had the idea for the app after he wrote a poem and had no place to publish it. The app has expanded beyond his original goals, as people not only post their own works but also network and organize events.  

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