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PEGGY LEYVA CONLEY




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HISTORY OF THE UNITED POETS LAUREATE INTERNATIONAL

20th WORLD CONGRESS OF POETS
Speech given by Dr. Benjamin R. Yuzon, UPLI President, on June 13, 2007 Lexington Hotel
East 1-95,1185 Eastern Blvd., Montgomery, AL 36119, USA

HISTORY OF THE UNITED POETS LAUREATE INTERNATIONAL
Originally printed in Laurel Leaves, 2007

Madame Congress President Mrs. Mary Halliburton, distinguished guest, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Before I speak I wish to thank Mrs. Halliburton for great effort and time in organizing this congress and all the people who labored with her and I wish to thank all the poets who are here, who traveled near and far to participate with us for the common good, that is the theme of this congress and our motto “World Brotherhood and Peace Through Poetry.” Bearing this in mind, I greet you all and extend my hand in peace, brotherly love, and friendship. And, please allow me to introduce to you our officers and members who are here. And to those who could not come due to age or health, be assured their hearts and best wishes are with us. We pray and wish them well for their speedy recovery much better than ever. In humility, I am greatly honored to speak before you about the history of the United Poets Laureate International, parent organization of the World Congress of Poets. The Almighty Creator in his infinite wisdom has so ordered matters in this our beautiful but mysteriously-governed universe, that one great mind after another will arise, from time to time, as much are needed, to reveal to men the truths that are wanted, and the amount of truth that can be given and borne.

The Creator so arranges that nature and the course of events shall send men into the world, endowed with that higher and moral organization, in which grand truths, sublime and divine gleams of spiritual light will spontaneously and inevitably arise. These speak to men by dreams, vision, and inspiration. Whether Dr. Amado M. Yuzon who is my father was or is among these men, only Heaven knows.

A wide reader of history, and the great works of the ancient sages and philosophers especially of the Holy Scriptures ever opened before humankind written in verse, he conceived that poets and poetry has something to do with universal peace as taking a watchful eye and presiding interest in world affairs, and as influencing the minds, hearts and actions of men.

It was in late 1961 Dr. Amado M. Yuzon first thought of organizing a world-wide poetry organization due to world tensions while in a hospital bed at the Holy Family Clinic in Manila, Philippines, for treatment of diabetic illness as a transient patient. The organization he thought of as provided in Article I of its Constitution is dedicated to ( a) the promotion of friendly relations among the nations or the world through the exchange of choice poetry by the best living poets, and (b) the cultivation of poetry as a most exalted art, irrespective of race, religion, and ideology, by giving the most gifted and inspired poets the greatest incentive to work.

While in the clinic, he asked for his books at home to read. At the same time keeping up with current local, national, and world affairs, and contacting well known poets in the Philippines and other poets abroad,or Pilipino poets by letters, telephone calls or personal meetings for poets abroad, by correspondence.

As a poet laureate in his own right, Dr. Amado M. Yuzon agreed with Mrs. Ligaya V. Yuzon, my stepmother to choose the name United Poets Laureate International, (UPLI for short) as thought and conceived by him of the organization while confined at this time for a fractured hip bone at the V. Luna Hospital in Quezon City in 1963. In the the same year the UPLI seal was designed by Mrs. Yuzon, and later retouched by her younger brother Conrado, an artist.

To Dr. Yuzon, God is the greatest Source of the World of Life and inspiration; and man with his wonderful corporeal and magnificent mental frame, his direct work. He believed that He has made man with different intellectual capacities; and enabled some, by some superior intellectual power, to see and originate grand truths which are hidden from the mass of men. He believed that when it is God’s will that mankind should make some great step forward, or achieve some pregnant discovery , He calls into being some intellect of more than ordinary magnitude and power, to give birth to new ideas, and grander conceptions of the Truths vital to humanity .That truth vital to humanity is “World Brotherhood and Peace Through Poetry” which is UPLI’s objective, theme and motto.

As a poet and Christian, Dr. Yuzon was so greatly inspired by the blessed message of The Messiah “Peace on earth, good will to all men” and “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” These inspirational truths were further reinforced by the maxims and teachings of the ancients such as “Peace and Happiness” and the Golden Rule.” To quote a few. ..

Buddhism: To one in whom love dwells, all men are brothers.

Confucianism: He comes to ruin who says that others are not equal to himself

Islam or Mohammedanism: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his Brother that which he desires for himself.

Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowmen.

Seneca: In your dealings with others, harm not that you be harmed.

Socrates: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Aristotle: We should behave toward friends as we would wish friends to behave toward us.

(See also the included quotations, The Way to Peace and Happiness, and The Golden Rule)

Some have the capacity of expressing and embodying in a few words their thoughts. Hence, the objective, theme and motto of UPLI. To Dr. Yuzon, all the organizations he conceived and founded, UPLI, the parent organization from which the World Congress of Poets was born (Art. 5, Articles of Incorporation of UPLI), and World Congress of Poets, and World Academy of Arts and Culture (affiliate of the of the World Congress of Poets, Section 1, Article IV, WCP Charter) are one in Trinity as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Their objective, theme, and motto are all the same.

In September 30, 1963, though only few, Dr. Yuzon and some Pilipino poets met, organized, and founded UPLI. On this great occasion to him, he wrote the following Asian Sonnet which he invented, rhymed a-b-a-a-b, c-d-c-c-d, e-f-e-f, published in its Official organ “Laurel Leaves”, Autumn issue, September 30, 1977.

ASIAN SONNET

On the foundation of UPLI

Objective: World Brotherhood and Peace Through Poetry

At Hotel Filipinas years ago,

In 1963, though only few.

We founded what today the poets know

As UPLI -Laureates with their spreading glow

To make world peace a golden dream come true.

With voice triumphant like the lark at morn

We dared with lyric songs the curse of wars;

Through Laurel Leaves we blew the battle horn;

Though Poets Congresses are manger born;

We shall never stop reaching for the stars.

For , sermons on the mount we shall deliver

And give mankind a ladder to the skies

Until such time when poetry can ever

Redeem from hatred our lost Paradise.

The official foundation of UPLI was on December 8, 1963 as amended in its constitution, which incidentally or providentially, coincides with the date of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary; and, finally registered on August 8, 1969 with the Securities and Exchange Commission of the Philippine government as a non-profit, non-stock incorporation and covered in its registry the World Congress ofPoets (Article 5 of its incorporation).

As adviser then to Philippine President Diosdado P. Macapagal, Dr. Yuzon was appointed the republic’s Cultural Envoy in 1965, representing the government and UPLI in literary and cultural organizations, conventions, conferences, etcetera. His first cultural tour was on April 5 to May 21, 1965 in the USA, Europe, and Asia. His second UPLI cultural tour was on August 28 to October 1, 1965 in continental Europe and the United Kingdom. In these cultural tours, Dr. Yuzon cited and gave awards to well-known deserving poets and writers, and revived the disappearing tradition of old times of crowning poets with golden laurel wreaths for their accomplishments and achievements.
The first issue of UPLI’ s official organ, Laurel Leaves was titled East Meets West in autumn of 1966. In its front cover was the picture Dr. John Masefield and Dr. Yuzon taken September 9, 1965 with their poems titled

Purpose, Flag, and Word

by Dr. Yuzon that says

“While I could not walk on the waters, Lord,

But with my sweat I’ve washed the feet of men,

Giving my life a purpose, flag, and word,

To make it worthy in Thy sight. Amen.”

Dr. Amado M. Yuzon

by John Masefield

The English say “The really wise,

Come westward from the eastern skies,

The western wisdom is, are increast

Only by pilgrims from the east.

I write to say I think it’s true,

And add, they make us happy too. “

The UPLI Offices was at 124 Mayon St., Quezon City, Philippines, Gov’t tel. 44-06-4. Editors & Publishers: The executive Board President & Chairman: Dr. Amado M Yuzon; Honorary President: Dr. John Masefield, O.M., the Queens Poet Laureate of England; Patron: Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York; Vice President-Members: Dr. Milford E. Shield, Poet Laureate of Colorado, Executive; Mr. Dee Walker, Poet Laureate of Texas, North America; Dr. Javier del Granado, Poet Laureate of Bolivia, South America; Dr .Vera Brittain of England, British Isles; Prof. Johann Gunert of Austria, Europe; Hon. Roland T. Dempster, Congressman in Liberia, Africa; Hon. Ghulam Mi Mlana, Pakistani delegate to UN General Assembly, Asia; Writers-in-Exile

Adviser: Hon. Carlos P. Romulo, Philippine Secretary of Education, and Past President of UN General Assembly; Director-General of French Regions, Mr. Martin-Saint-Rene of the Academy of French Poetry; Honorary Officer: Gustav Davidson of New York, Secretary Emeritus, Poetry Society of America.

In some of his many conversations with me, Dr. Yuzon in reference to UPLI, he often said, ‘”We are not alone in this cause or a lost voice in the wilderness. “One person of goodwill can make a big difference.” By this, meant the cause is world brotherhood and peace through poetry; and, that difference is the poet, the generic son of God whom Shelley called the unacknowledged legislators of the world.

May the spirit Peace, Brotherly Love, and Friendship be with you all always. Thank you.