The Chinese Book of Songs and Pete Seeger’s ballad “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” were written at least two thousand years apart, but they have striking similarities. Both songs read from the Book of Songs and Pete Seeger’s work deal with pictures in nature and use repetition of phrases and themes. But, the second song and Seeger’s ballad have even more in common: a similar theme of the passage of time. In the Book of Songs “#167,” bracken, cherry trees, snow, and willows show all the seasons passing as the soldiers are at war. In Pete Seeger’s lyrics, time is first shown as passing with the use of flowers, but then he continues to use other methods. Song “#167” deals with time on a small scale of a few years with the changes of season portrayed in nature, whereas Pete Seeger discusses time as it impacts an entire generation as the verses progress from young children, to married adults, to silent tombs. Both poems are concerned with the never ending-cycle of wars and their hardships; however, they differ in tone. On the one hand, the Chinese writer of song “#167” focused on the soldier’s willing subservience to his lord, while Pete Seeger focuses on the innocence and naivety of youth and mankind as a whole (especially in the phrase "When will they learn?") and the circle of life.

Mr. Seeger is asking why a country would continue to fight when nothing is being gained. Everything is the same generation after generation. Personally, “Where Have all the Flowers Gone” by Pete Seeger was the most thought provoking of the passages. It emphasizes a human’s nature to put aside everything they have learned, seen, or have been told, whether it be from war or everyday life. It is the undying human drive to defy reality. This mindset to go ahead with what a person wants to do because they think that "This time things will be different" rarely works.

The American poet e.e. cummings also used a large amount of nature in his poems. He even had a similar style to Japanese poetry’s abnormal punctuations. In Cummings’ poem “in time of daffodils(who know,” he artistically uses flowers to prove his three-fold point (much more positive and thought provoking points than those written by Seeger and the Chinese poet). The first two points are as follows: to grow by asking how and not why and to realize that dreams are not reached by merely looking at the now- instead look to what is possible for the future. Finally, enjoy the paradise here and now, not contaminating it with the "what ifs." By following these points, a two-fold result is reached. First, the realization is found that life is not about what is gained materially, but about what is learned. Secondly, by forgetting all the "ifs and whys" we become who we were really intended to be.