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Our businesses and our lives revolve around language. Poetry brings our beautiful words into a single space filled with expression and imagery. What could be better than taking a beautiful poem and bringing it to others in their own language? As part of the 2023 conference, we are offering a literary translation course and we want to use the below poem to let our participants strut their stuff by translating and sharing their work.

Many thanks to former Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford for granting translators from around the world the opportunity to translate his poem into diverse languages for publication on the Oregon Society of Translators and Interpreters conference webpage.

Now it is your turn. Hello us take this poem around the world by adding your personal translation in the forum below. This is a place for us to explore the beauty inside all of our words and to exemplify this year's conference theme, "Words Around the World"! Thanks for helping us put something special out into the world.

Listen to the Voices

American English read by Kim Stafford

Music Performance (English) composed by Joan  Szymko

Kim Stafford

A Proclamation for Peace

Whereas the world is a house on fire;
Whereas the nations are filled with shouting;
Whereas hope seems small, sometimes
a single bird on a wire
left by migration behind.
Whereas kindness is seldom in the news
and peace an abstraction
while war is real;
Whereas words are all I have;
Whereas my life is short;
Whereas I am afraid;
Whereas I am free—despite all
fire and anger and fear;
Be it therefore resolved a song
shall be my calling—a song
not yet made shall be vocation
and peaceful words the work
of my remaining days.

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