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Poetically Yours - Let's talk about peace

Christian Wiediger - unsplash.com

Welcome to Poetically Yours. This segment highlights poets from northern Illinois. Today’s episode features Carol Obertubbesing.

Obertubbesing grew up in Union City, New Jersey and saw the New York skyline every day of her life until she left. In 1969, she became part of the first coed class at Princeton University. She said that was the defining event of her life.

The Princeton Alumni Weekly published an article she wrote about her experience as one of the first women to attend Princeton. She returned to Princeton almost every year for reunions and other events and now serves as Regional Vice President for the Class of 1973. In 2019, she organized a national conference held in Chicago to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Undergraduate Coeducation at Princeton. Last year, the University gave her the Distinguished Service to Princeton Award.

Obertubbesing has served on the Board of the WoodstockFolk Festival since 1993 and has organized the festival’s virtual performances for the past two years.

She’s worked in public tv and radio. She was the director of Outreach at WGBH, and at PBS she was the associate director of the Elementary and Secondary Service. She said she is an avid listener of public radio. Obertubbesing wrote this poem, “Peace for the Children,” after she heard the news of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Bombs fall from the night sky
The boy in Ukraine and the girl in Israel quiver in the cellar
A bullet flies through the bedroom
The girl in Chicago and the boy in Haiti cry for their dying mother
The fire ravages their once quiet home
The boy in Lebanon and the girl in Greece scream in the night
Shots ring out in the hallway
The girl in Nigeria and the boy in Texas grieve their dying classmates.
If we cannot do it for ourselves
Let us do it for the children
Let us listen, discuss, compromise
Let us look into each other’s eyes and reach across the table
See, feel the humanity in each person
So the children can have peaceful days and starlit nights

By Carol Obertubbesing; ©October 2023


Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.