Teach, Teach, Teach the Acts of Peace


Edward Bond is one of the UK’s most prolific and celebrated playwrights, who came to prominence in 1965 with Saved. Often known for their controversy and subversion, his plays shine a light in sometimes shocking ways on the brutality not only of war and violence but also of social exclusion, capitalism, censorship, urbanisation, militarisation, and the breakdown of society. The 1986 world première of his play Jackets was directed by Keith Sturgess, now a FIGS volunteer teacher and inspirer.

Edward’s recent poem for the Tokyo Institute shows in three short stanzas how these themes can be overcome by education. With his permission and our gratitude, we reproduce it here on the anniversary of the last most devastating air raids over London and Berlin, which marked a turning point in ending World War II.


War terrorism weapons rage
Mountains forests plains laid waste
Oceans air polluted
Animals living bones in pelts

People stand on shores
Silent unmoving
Look up at the sky
Crowds on squares
On roofs
The lonely on street corners
It worsens  

Build a house – open the doors – wide
Bring people in – call in the young
And teach teach teach teach teach teach
             teach teach
The acts of peace

Edward Bond
Written for the tenth anniversary of Za-Koenji (Tokyo) Institute, 1 February 2019

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