Ada Aharoni
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    IFLAC is a voluntary Association that strives for peace by building bridges of understanding and peace through culture, literature and communication. IFLAC is founded and directed by Egyptian-born Israeli writer Ada Aharoni (Ph.D), since 1999.

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    The Job of the Poet

    Text: Solveig Hansen

    Mattie J.T. StepanekHis life was brief, but what a legacy he left behind! Peace activist and poet extraordinaire Mattie J.T. Stepanek (1990-2004) wrote his first poems, his heartsongs, at the age of three. He explained that heartsongs are gifts that reflect each person’s unique reason for being. Poets have specific duties, as described in his Duties as Designed below.

    Among his works are six collections of his Heartsongs poetry, all New York Times Bestsellers.

    This is how Mattie wanted to be remembered: When people hear my name after I am gone, I hope they smile and say, “oh yes, Mattie – he was a poet, a peacemaker, and a philosopher who played.”


    By Mattie J.T. Stepanek

    The job of the poet
    Is to give birth to the words
    That give breath to expressions
    Of the essence of life.

    The job of the poet
    Is to leave stains of the storms
    Yet echo laughter of the light
    That is seen from the soul.

    The job of the poet
    Is to weave ashes of yesterthoughts
    Into silhouettes that rise gently
    On the horizon of dawning hope.

    The job of the poet
    Is to create and to capture
    And to spirit and to script
    The pulse of life.

    Duties as Designed by Mattie J.T. Stepanek, in Reflections of a Peacemaker (AMP, 2005). Used with permission. For more information, please visit


    6 Comments on “The Job of the Poet”

    1. The importance of poets fantastic poem inspirational


    2. It is fantastic that such a young boy, Mattie J.T. Stepanek – only 14 years old when he passed away, could write such deep poetry and “Heartsongs” about the necessity of peace. In his young age he already understood what most of the governments of the world don’t understand yet – the importance of the spreading of Peace Poetry and the Culture of Peace to help create a world beyond war.
      His beautiful and so moving poetry entitles him to be a HONORARY IFLAC DOVE OF PEACE.
      I am so glad that his 6 collections of poems are all New York Times Bestsellers!
      Indeed Mattie was a poet, a peacemaker, and a philosopher He will live in our hearts through his amazing poems forever!

      Prof. Ada Aharoni
      IFLAC Founding President


    3. Wow! Thank you Professor Aharoni! I will post this lovely comment to Mattie’s website. If there is a photo or image of the dove, please let me know, and I will post that as well. I would like to create a small news story about this honor.
      “Peace is possible… choose peace.” — Mattie J.T. Stepanek.
      Jeni Stepanek, Ph.D.
      “Mattie’s mom”


      • Ada Aharoni says:

        Dear Jeni Stepanek – Mattie’s Mom,

        Thank you very much for your warm words above and for being the mother of such a wonderful poet and peace creator, your son Mattie Stepanek, who will live in our hearts forever, though he passed away when he was just 14 years old.
        . I have just heard your Video speech about him and about your own physical hardships and life, and am full of admiration for both of you, for your courage, for your wisdom and for your crucial message of peace to the world.
        May Mattie and you be heard by all the leaders of the world and together with IFLAC: The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace – we will succeed to create Cultural Bridges of understanding, tolerance and peace among people and nations.
        We at Iflac are delighted to bestow THE IFLAC DOVE OF PEACE CERTIFICATE to the memory of Mattie J.T Stepanek – may his brilliant and crucial “heartsong” poetry live forever and bring forth a better world!

        (A full Copy of the following certificate will be sent to you by email).


        Poet, peace creator and philosopher, only 14 years old when he passed away, dedicated to the promotion of world peace and love, is awarded the following tribute by the IFLAC Board:
        The Dove of Peace Certificate – Delivered this 26th February 2014

        Prof. Ada Aharoni
        Iflac Founding President


    4. The news story about this lovely honor has been shared on Mattie’s website — — thank you for the lovely tribute to Mattie. I am proud, and celebrating with gratitude.


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