UNITED NATIONS – U.N. ambassadors from 14 countries whose soldiers fought in World War I have recorded poems about the conflict written by their best-known poets.
Britain's U.N. Mission opened the exhibition Monday at U.N. headquarters to coincide with the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, Britain's entry into the war, and its presidency of the U.N. Security Council this month. It includes posters of the poets and their poems, and a code that can be scanned with smart phones to hear the ambassadors from the onetime warring countries reading their works.
British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, who reads Wilfred Owen's "Dulce Et Decorum Est," told reporters the theme of the exhibition is "conflict prevention and commemoration." He said the ambassadors chose the poems.
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power read Alan Seeger's "I Have a Rendezvous With Death." German Ambassador Harald Braun read George Trakl's "Grodele" and Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, whose grandfather was an artilleryman in the war, read Nikolay Gumilev's "Assault."
Other poems included former Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's "Gallipoli — A Postwar Epic," Canadian poet John McCrae's "In Flanders Field" and French poet Louis Aragon's "War and What Follows."
New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Austria, South Africa, India and Serbia are also represented in the exhibition.