Questions and Activities

Links to Art Online
Links to Poetry Online
Links to Songs Online

J.Kadir Cannon--Faces

Questions and Activities

Cover: Images

1. How do the images on the cover relate to each other?

2. To what historical incidents do they relate?

Wendell Berry: To a Siberian Woodsman

1. Can you draw the picture from the magazine that so inspired Wendell Berry?

2. Can you draw a picture of Wendell Berry's home as he describes it?

3. To what period of history does the likely poem refer?

4. Can you find a photo that inspires you to express your global connection?

5. Why do you like or dislike this poem?

Jorge Luis Borges: Juan Lopez and John Ward

1. Do you see any parallels between Borges's poem and Berry's?

2. What world events may have inspired

Wilfred Owen: Dulce et Decorum Est

1: Does Wilfred Owen believe it is
sweet and honorable to die for one's country? Do you? Explain.

2. What period of warfare is Owen describing?

3. Can you draw a picture of one of the characters in the poem? Write what they are thinking.

4. Find out what the gas is to which Owen refers.

David Krieger: For Every Hibakusha
Sankichi Toge: Give Back Peace
Bertolt Brecht: Untitled Excerpt

1. What connections do you see among the three poems?

2. Write a journal as one of the people Krieger or Brecht names in the poem.

3. Write a passage before and a passage after the dropping of the bomb.

4. Read John Hershey's
Hiroshima, Laurence Yep's novella Hiroshima, or Toshi Maruki's picture book Hiroshima No Pika.

5. Learn more about nuclear disarmament and groups that work to abolish nuclear weapons.

Felix Pollack: Speaking: The Hero

1. What is your reaction to this poem? Write a letter to the poet, to the speaker, or to any of the characters mentioned in the poem.

2. How does this poem differ from traditional views of war heroes?

3. How does this poem compare to Owen's poem?

William Stafford: Untitled

1. Compare Stafford's poem to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

2. What is your reaction to Stafford's poem?

Denise Levertov: Misnomer

1. What is the misnomer in the poem?

2. Look at some of Leonardo da Vinci's war inventions (link below). Do you agree with Levertov or not? Explain.

3. Look at some of the anti-war art linked on the pages below.

4. Compare some of the paintings or write your reactions to some of them.

Naomi Shihab Nye:
For Mohammed Zeid of Gaza, Age 15

. Who are the sirs the poet mentions in the first line of the poem?

2. To what world events might this poem refer?

3. Read the poem
Blood on the Nye poetry link (below).

4. What about the author's background might affect her poetry?

Walt Whitman: Drum Taps
Walt Whitman: War Wounds

1. How do you compare these two poems in terms of what they say about war?

2. Are there other poems in the collection these poems to which these poems relate?

3. Read about Whitman's service as a war nurse in the Civil War.

Gwendolyn Brooks: A Little Girl's Poem

1. How does this poem compare to that of Wendell Berry?

2. What is your reaction to this poem? Explain.

David Krieger: Today is Not a Good Day for War

. How do you react to this poem?

2. Visit Krieger's website Waging Peace (link below) and see other poetry about war and peace.

3. Write your own poem about war and peace.

Return to top of page.

ART: Online Resources

Cannon--Modern Warfare (above)
Anguished Art:
The Human Cost of War
Contemporary American artist J. Kadir Cannon has crafted a website that allows viewing of his entire series of anti-war art. The images are original and contemporary, while referencing classic work by Picasso and Goya. Compare for example, Goya's Saturn Devouring His Children with Cannon's painting Colossus. Or consider the mother's anguish in Guernica/Fallujah/Hiroshima with figures in Picasso's
Guernica. Commentary on the site explains Cannon's impetus for this series and details his 31-minute movie, Who's Telling our Story? based on his anti-war art and desire for peace.
A movie clip can be viewed by older students to prompt writing, art, and reflection on the human cost of war.

About Guernica

PBS website has extensive background information on Pablo Picasso
and the antiwar themes in the painting
About Guernica

David Krieger's poem about
Guernica is here as well as background information about the painting's origins and recent covering of the painting during a news conference at the United Nations.

Picasso--Sketches for The Dream and Lie of Franco

Picasso--Sketches for Guernica

Picasso--Guernica on display at Spanish Pavilion at French Exposition, 1937

About Goya
This site has a brief biography of Francisco Goya and allows viewing of The Shooting on the Third of May, Saturn Devouring his Children, and Colossus.
About Goya's Disasters of War Drawings

Numerous examples of Goya's graphic and disturbing war drawings as well as bibliographic commentary from Grinnell College site.

Goya--The Shooting on the Third of May

Cannon--Colossus (above)
Goya--Saturn Devouring His Children (to right)

Maruki--Bamboo Thicket

Hiroshima Panels-- Gallery of Iri and Toshi Maruki
Japanese artists Toshi Maruki and her husband Iri Maruki were active in campaigning for nuclear disarmament and world peace. The compelling images in this gallery are accompanied by heart-rending narratives of the destruction caused by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima. See also their picture book, Hiroshima No Pika (The Flash of Hiroshima), for more images and narratives of hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor) experiences after the bomb.
Archive of Art by Hiroshima Children and Survivors
Wilmington College's Peace Resource Center has a large collection of photographs, drawing, and paintings of the effects of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Kiefer--Nero Paints

German Expressionism--Anselm Kiefer
German artist's paintings of German landscapes reflect effects of war. See especially Nuremburg and Nero Paints.

American Visionary Art Museum
Curator's commentary on 2002 War & Peace Exhibit includes excerpts from songs, speeches, and poetry by such notables as Albert Einstein, Pete Seeger, Margaret Mead, and John Lennon.
Leonardo daVinci: War Machines
Armored cars, cannons, cross-bows: these are all part of the artist's body of work. Is it art?
The Dream Flag Project
This site allows students and teachers to see student art and read student poems about peace and other dreams and hopes. Classes are invited to participate in making their own Dream Flags. Inspired by the poetry of Langston Hughes and the prayer flags of Nepal, the program originated in the Philadelphia area, but invites worldwide participation in its annual events. This site has clear directions and welcomes new participants. More than 6000 students have participated in grades K-12.
Kidlink Artworks for Peace Gallery
Galleries of children's art about war and peace are viewable on this page. Numerous images are viewable and can lead to discussion and art projects about war and peace.
Kids Guernica
This children's peace project invites children from all parts of the world to create paintings the same size as Pablo Picasso's Guernica (3.5 m × 7.8m) to express their hopes for peace and their protests of war. Many of these paintings are viewable on the site, and instructions for joining the project are clear and welcoming.

AFSC: Eyes Wide Open
American Friends Service Committee's Eyes Wide Open exhibit uses boots of soldiers and shoes of civilians to tell the sad story of the human cost of war. On this site is information about the exhibit as well as a 3-minute movie. The Resources section provides lesson plans on budget priorities and design of war memorials. Student follow-up activities could include discussion and debates as well as exhibits of personal artifacts to promote peaceful solutions to local and global problems.

Art Miles Mural Project

Art Miles Mural Project is planned to allow children from all over the world to paint murals on various themes from peace to diversity, and to share their art with others around the world. Ultimately, the murals will be joined to be displayed around the Great Pyramid in Egypt in 2010 and to be recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest painting in the world. Home page of Art Miles has links to photos of the murals from 12 different mural projects around the world, as well as background and history of project.

AFSC:Eyes Wide Open

Art Miles: Vienna 2002

POETRY: Online Resources
Waging Peace: War and Peace Poetry
Several of the poems in these pages come from the Waging Peace Website at which there are numerous other poems about war and peace. David Krieger is founder and president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and has contributed numerous poems to this collection. Other contributors are below.
Wendell Berry, United States (Academy of American Poetry Website)
Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina (bio and poetry)
Wilfred Owen, Great Britain (bio and poetry)

Sankichi Toge, Japan (monument at Hiroshima)

Bertolt Brecht (bio and links to writing)
Edgar Lee Masters, United States (links to bio and writing)
William Stafford, United States (bio)
Denise Levertov, Great Britain (bio and writing)
Naomi Shihab Nye, United States (bio and writing)
Walt Whitman (bio and writing)
Gwendolyn Brooks (bio and writing)
SONGS of PEACE: Online Resources

Songs of peace, protest, and social justice are available for listening at the website of Friendship Village, an Israeli NGO (non-governmental organization) that provides peace education aimed at bringing Israelis and Palestinians together in understanding and peace.

Listen to songs (and read lyrics) by The Beatles, Ben Harper, Bob Dylan, Bob Morley, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, and others at

We shall Overcome was sung during American Civil Rights marches in the 1960s. The song with roots in African-American gospel music is still sung today at rallies for peace and justice. Verses have been added to the original over the years, most commonly, We shall live in peace, someday. Below is a combined version of original and contemporary lyrics.
1. We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome some day


Oh deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall overcome some day

2. We'll walk hand in hand
We'll walk hand in hand
We'll walk hand in hand some day


3. We shall all be free
We shall all be free
We shall all be free some day

4. We are not afraid
We are not afraid
We are not afraid today


5. We shall live in peace
We shall live in peace
We shall live in peace some day


6. The whole wide world around
The whole wide world around
The whole wide world around some day


7. We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome some day


Let There be Peace on Earth
was written by Jill Jackson Miller in 1955, and I learned it as an elementary school child. I teach it to my students too, and it is known and sung worldwide.

Hear David Freudberg's radio interview with Miller and comments about peace and about the song by high school chorus members at Humankind's Website:

Let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with me
Let There Be Peace on Earth
The peace that was meant to be

With God as our Father
Brothers all are we
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With ev'ry step I take
Let this be my solemn vow;

To take each moment and live
Each moment in peace eternally
Let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with me.